Rising in the midst of its elegant Beaux-Arts neighbors, Walton on the Park adds a distinctly modern flavor to Chicago's fashionable Gold Coast neighborhood. Commissioned by one of Chicago's leading residential developers, The Enterprise Companies, Walton on the Park exemplifies cutting-edge architecture tempered with respect for the landmark structures around it. The challenge issued to architects Pappageorge Haymes of Chicago, IL, was to create a mixed-use building and residential tower to house more than 400 ultra-spacious, luxurious residential units. Featured on the building’s exterior is Reynobond aluminum composite material from Alcoa Architectural Products.
The architects developed the footprint for the building in respect to four landmark structures on the site facing the city's historic Washington Square Park. Rather than build a towering skyscraper that would look out of place among its turn-of-the-century neighbors, the architects designed two towers of varied heights to reinforce the context and scale of the neighborhood. The south tower, completed in June 2010, is 31 stories tall and houses 198 residential units.
Shaffner Heaney of South Bend, IN, fabricated approximately 2,200 panels for the Walton on the Park project using 45,000 square feet of Reynobond® ACM, 4 mm, FR core, Bone White Colorweld® 300 finish for the columns and wall panels; 1,600-square-feet of Reynobond ACM, 4 mm, FR core, Platinum Colorweld 300 finish as a vertical column accent; and 3,000-square-feet of Reynobond ACM, 4 mm, FR core, Silver Custom 3-coat finish for small areas on the eastern elevation and the southern loading dock soffit.
More than 600 self-supporting column panels were fabricated with a recessed, 7-inch-wide accent of Platinum material built into the column assembly. Six different types of self-supporting panels were produced, some reaching areas of more than 90 square feet. Each column assembly was built using routed ACM stiffener plates connected by formed aluminum rails to create a frame for the finished materials. The Platinum accent was built into the frame, incorporating custom extrusions that accept several types of custom gaskets. Shaffner Heaney then wrapped ACM around the frame to achieve the required design. Even the simplest of these columns featured hundreds of data points to align all of the connections of materials for a plumb, true and square product.
The column panels hung directly on the wall with system depths ranging from as small as 5 inches to as large as 24 inches, eliminating the need for metal framing and providing a significant savings in cost and time. Shaffner Heaney fabricated two-piece custom hanging brackets to span the large system depths. These parts were notched to clear the recessed accent and slotted to allow for adjustment and ease of installation. The hanging system also incorporated a ship lap detail to effectively keep moisture out of each panel. Each column is designed as a removable, individual unit through the use of mounting pins that provide wind-load connections.
The downtown location meant that all deliveries had to be scheduled ahead of time to coordinate use of the loading dock and freight elevator. Each panel was crated individually for handling and protection, then crated together for transport. The panels were installed by lifts up to the sixth floor, then by swing stage for the rest of the project. Each panel had to be staged to the correct floor and room before being installed from the stage. The largest panel, which weighed more than 300 pounds, required a crew of six to install it. All American Exterior Solutions, Inc., of Lake Zurich, IL, and Hennessy Sheet Metal Inc., of Steger, IL, installed the panels in Shaffner Heaney's dry joint, rainscreen panel system. Bovis Lend Lease (US) Construction, Inc., of Chicago, IL, served as the general contractor for the project.
Photographs by Bob Perzel Photography