Located in the heart of the windy city, adjacent the Chicago River and in close proximity to Union Station, the 250 South Wacker building had an awful lot going for it but two major drawbacks—its outdated appearance and its aging mechanical systems. Recognizing the potential of the property—designed and built by architects Loebl, Schlossman and Bennett in 1957—the principals of D2 Realty of Chicago purchased the building with extensive upgrades in mind. To oversee their top-to-bottom, inside-and-out modernization of the 15-story structure they enlisted the services of achitects Bauhs Dring Seglin Main of Chicago.
With a $25 million budget to work with, the firm had the building gutted to its core and remade as an environmentally sensitive structure that takes full advantage of its park-like setting and sweeping views. They also gave the building a fresh, contemporary look by re-skinning it with a rainscreen cladding system based on Reynobond® aluminum composite wall panels. The cladding was installed in conjunction with new curtain wall that features energy efficient Low-E windows.
Shaffner Heaney Associates of South Bend, IN, engineered the new metal wall system and fabricated its panels from 4mm-thick Reynobond® material with an FR (fire-rated) core. The panels have a Bright Silver Metallic Colorweld® 300XL paint finish.
Craig Heaney said his firm attached the new panel system to a gridwork of light-gauge steel sub-structural members. They were used to adjust the overall depth of the façade system and to straighten any and all out-of-square conditions.
Working within a tight schedule and around other exterior trades, MG McGrath of Maplewood, MN installed the Reynobond® ACM panels in an RLS-9000 rout-and-return rainscreen system, creating a virtually maintenance free façade with the clean, crisp aesthetics the architect and owners desired. Turner Construction of Chicago served as the general contractor for the project.
The renovation of the 197'-tall office building was completed in April 2007. It houses office suites ranging in size from 5,000 square feet to 250,000 square feet; each with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide abundant light and outstanding views. In addition to reusing rather than replacing the structure, the architects incorporated an innovative, energy-efficient HVAC system and used certified green materials on all interior surfaces.
photographs courtesy of Shaffner Heaney Associates