Harman Patil (Editor)

1200 South Indiana

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Former Names  Grant Park Tower
Building Type  Residential Tower
Completion  August 2018
Status  Proposed
Architectural Style  International
1200 South Indiana
Location  South Loop, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

1200 South Indiana (also Grant Park Tower or 113 E Roosevelt) is the name given to a multi-phase skyscraper development project planned for the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. It is the first and only approved stage of what could be a three-stage project, consisting of two towers and one low-rise condominium complex, with the second tower located just west of the first and reaching 30 feet taller. Once complete, the tower will be the 13th tallest building in Chicago, making it the tallest skyscraper in the South Loop and one of the tallest residential skyscrapers in the city.


Location & Usage

The tower will be located at the address its name suggests, 1200 S Indiana Avenue, in Chicago, Illinois. Its site is part of the South Loop area of Chicago, an informal neighborhood named for its proximity to the Chicago Loop, or the central business district that is encircled by the Chicago "L" tracks. The tower's proximity to the southwestern corner of Grant Park is intended to anchor the southern end of the Chicago skyline, and provide a boost in housing opportunities to the steadily-growing South Loop neighborhood.

The tower is a residential high-rise, with various amenities and retail scattered throughout. The first floor will house leasing offices, resident services, and retail spaces for future buildout. If the scope of the entire project is seen through, it will involve the construction of two towers. Currently, only the first tower is approved and underway, planned to house 795 residential units. Once both phases are complete, the towers will house over 1200 residential units. In addition to its influx of housing availability in the South Loop, the project will also create plentiful job opportunities, as it is currently projected to require more than one million man hours of work during its 24-month construction timeline.

Once complete, it will also be responsible for approximately 50 full-time permanent jobs, including leasing personnel, amenity and maintenance staff, and ground-floor retail employees. The tower will also offer 520 parking spaces to its residents, as well as full amenities decks, and indoor/outdoor pool, green roofs and gardens, barbecue areas, fitness rooms, and private balconies for most of the units.


The tower was created by Rafael Viñoly and his firm, Rafael Viñoly Architects, who also designed the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business in Hyde Park.

Its design reflects the International style, made famous in the 1950s by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Although not clad in cold-rolled aluminum and black-tinted glazing like other examples of the International style in the city, 1200 S Indiana nonetheless maintains the style through its form. While the goal was to create a memorable tower, Viñoly aimed to avoid a design that may age poorly, stating that "iconic buildings are buildings that look weird." The compromise was 1200 S Indiana, intended to be a landmark for the southern end of Grant Park while showing respect to Chicago's architectural legacy.


According to Viñoly, the project pays homage to the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) by using the same bundled tube structural system that was first implemented by engineer Fazlur Khan. Such a structure was created for and used readily in many Chicago buildings during the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, One Magnificent Mile, and the Plaza on DeWitt. Because of this, much of the building's overall form resembles the Willis Tower as well.

In tandem with the bundled tube system, the structure will also employ shear walls to stabilize the tower's slender multi-level "tubes." The bundled tube structure alone provides vertical strength - that is to say, the bundled tubes act as columns, carrying large loads of weight straight down, but are unable to resist lateral loads. The shear walls act as horizontal bracing, with effects similar to those of William LeBaron Jenney's cross bracing or X-bracing that allowed for the first skyscrapers to be constructed in Chicago. The walls tie into the central core of the tower. As lateral load is applied to the building (such as wind, snow and rain), the shear walls resist the load and transfer it deeper into the building to the core. The core then carries the load down to the bedrock at the foundation.

To stabilize its height further, the tower will also feature a tuned mass damper on the 77th floor. The force of wind against tall buildings can cause the top of skyscrapers to move more than a meter. This motion can be in the form of swaying or twisting, and can cause the upper floors of such buildings to move more than is usually desired by high-rise occupants. Due to the square shape of 1200 S Indiana, wind will hit the facade more abruptly. A mass damper system will counteract this swaying by placing a large mass (in this case, a metal and concrete ball) center upon several pneumatic and hydraulic pistons that move the mass in the opposite direction of the building's swaying motion. As wind shifts the building a few inches to the left, for example, pistons move the mass a few inches to the right to counteract the swaying and re-center the tower.


The project was originally conceived of as three phases: two towers and a set of small, low-rise condominiums. However, the condominium phase has been ignored for the time being, and focus has been placed on the two towers. Currently, only the first phase (and subsequently the first tower) has been approved, and will be at the corner of S Indiana Avenue and E Roosevelt Road. If the second phase of the project is also approved and seen through, a second tower similar to the first but slightly taller will be placed just west of the first tower, at the corner of S Wabash Avenue and E Roosevelt Road. Early renders of the project show the two towers together, however currently only the first tower is officially announced.

At 829 feet, 1200 S Indiana will be the 13th tallest building in Chicago, and the second tallest all residential tower in the city, behind the 843-foot, 69-story One Bennett Park in Streeterville. If its targeted sustainability and LEED certification are attained, the project will also be one of the most sustainable all residential tower is the United States, joining other innovative projects in Chicago such as 340 on the Park.


Following precedents set by other residential and commercial high-rises in Chicago, as well as by demands and suggestions of city ordinances, the proposed development will be LEED certified, with the tower attempting a LEED Silver level of certification. It will employ a variety of strategies, including water-efficient and low-flow water fixtures for both residents and public spaces, energy saving lighting and lighting control systems, regionally-sourced and recycled materials, low-emitting finishes and paints with low- or zero-VOCs, and the purchase of green power.

The tower will implement a green roof system on the roofs of its tiers. Following the trend in Chicago, 1200 South Indiana's green roofs will add to several others throughout the city, such as that of the Chicago City Hall. Each green roof will serve as common outdoor space, to be used by residents at will for small-scale recreational activities (such as barbecuing, lounging and tanning) while providing ample connections to nature above ground level. In addition to public space, the green roof system will provide several health and environmental benefits, including the following:

  • Outdoor space for residents
  • Natural beauty and visual pleasure per the biophilia hypothesis and the attention restoration theory
  • Reduction of heat island effect
  • Better management of stormwater and rainwater runoff that would otherwise be displaced by hardscape, reducing rainwater runoff by up to 75% during rainstorms
  • Passive air purification (natural carbon dioxide sequestration)
  • For its residents and for the public, the project will offer parking spaces for low-emission vehicles (LEVs) and over 300 bike racks to help promote alternative forms of transportation, in addition to the ample bus and elevated rail trains provided by the Chicago Transit Authority nearby.


    1200 South Indiana Wikipedia

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