In condo construction, timing is essential. Terrie Whittaker, president of sales and marketing for New West Realty, says that her company acquired the land at 1555 S Wabash Ave in the South Loop at just the right moment.
“We were just finishing up a very successful project close by, and we had a solid handle on the neighborhood,” she says.
In the August issue of New Homes, writer Dan Schuyler interviews Whittaker and architect Jonathan Splitt about 1555 Wabash, New West’s new 14-story, 176-unit condominium tower. In the story, Splitt explains how he came up with the building’s eight-cornered design.
While the location did not lend itself to a specific type of structure, the proximity of the train tracks and several contemporary buildings helped Splitt formulate a design scheme for 1555 Wabash.
“We wanted to borrow from the solid, massive image of the trains by keeping the base of the building fairly dense,” Splitt explains. “From the third floor on up, we went with all glass and steel in a unique criss-cross design that provides eight corner units per floor and allows for larger, yet more intimate terraces, while taking advantage of the gorgeous views. It also gave us the opportunity to use two shades of tinted glass, depending on the direction of the outside exposure.”
The result is a gorgeous structure that is as functional as it is pleasing to the eye. But there’s more. Images of Lake Shore Drive in the 1930s come to mind as one approaches the building via a covered vehicle turnaround that invitingly guides the user to the entrance.
“The driveway serves to shorten the distance to the soul of the building once you’re inside,” says Splitt. “And the interior glass lobby wall serves an informative function. The user doesn’t just enter and scan around to figure out where to go. It’s all very gracious and natural.”
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