Chicago, IL

Related Midwest
Best Residential/Hospitality Project | ENR Midwest
Distinguished Building Award | AIA Chicago
Chicago Building Congress Merit Award | New Construction Chicago - Over $55 Million
ULI Chicago Vision Award | Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Development of the Year | Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards
Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing
Kevin Dickert
Lester Ali
Scott Frances /OTTO

OneEleven is a new residential building, converted from a long-abandoned eyesore on the Chicago River. The building was originally designed as an 89-story hotel by a separate firm, but was halted during construction during the recent recession. The building shell sat untouched for five years, and in July 2011 Handel Architects was engaged to salvage the shell, as well as add an additional 25 stories on top, creating a new a 60-story residential building. The process involved forensics – first discovering what was actually built, and whether it was structurally sound – and creativity, as spaces planned for a hotel needed to be repurposed for residences.

Created as a series of interlocking blocks, the tower responds to both the river and its neighbors in the form of a cut that runs from the base to the penthouses, wrapping the building in a recessed glass ribbon.

Ascending the building, the ribbon creates opportunities for green space and balconies. Wrapping the 25th floor, the ribbon ties into the setback of its western neighbor before wrapping again into a green roof atop the building podium and continuing skyward.

The building includes 504 rental units, 445 parking spaces, as well as generous amenities. The tower mends a gap on the waterfront, completing the assemblage of one of the most powerful architectural experiences in the city.