The Contemporaine at 516 North Wells, Chicago, Illinois by Perkins+Will
The all-glass 4-story garage base is designed so people passing the building can view cars circulating on the ramps inside. Features balconies cantilevered over the lot’s edge like “mini-catwalks”. The garage is glazed in a playful pattern, with the windows arranged like bricks, Four units each have a 2-or-3-story atrium, one at each corner of the building. These atrium units are staggered between different floors (11,12, 14, and 15). The second-highest penthouse sold for a higher price than the top floor, since it is slightly larger and features an oversized terrace. The building uses a 4-pipe heating and cooling system, which allows different units to be heated and cooled at the same time. Site prep began on June 10, 2002 with the demolition of an auto repair shop, and foundation work began on August 19. As in architect Ralph Johnson’s previous work at Skybridge this building uses giant columns at the top and base to create a unique shape and to connect the residential floors visually to the ground. In 2004 the building won an Honor Award for distinguished architecture from the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This was the first high-rise built in Chicago with an unpainted concrete facade since River City in 1986. In 2005 the building won an Honor Award for Outstanding Architecture from the American Institute of Architects national body. 52 units were originally marketed but the number was reduced to 28 because so many buyers consolidated units.