111 South Wacker Building

111 South Wacker Building
  1. About the 111 South Wacker Building in Chicago
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The 111 South Wacker Building is a Contemporary skyscraper designed by Lohan Caprille Goettsch Architects, with Jim Goettsch as lead architect, and built between 2003 and 2005 in Chicago, IL.

Its precise street address is 111 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

An interesting fact is that the buildign that previously occupied this site, the USG Building, demolished in 2003, was the tallest building to ever be demolished in Chicago.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

Lohan Caprille Goettsch Architects, with Jim Goettsch as the lead architect, was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Lohan Caprille Goettsch Architects was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the 111 South Wacker Building a reality:

  • Magnusson Klemencic Associates in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Bovis Lend Lease as the Main Contractor
  • The John Buck Company as the Main Developer
  • Environmental Systems Design, Inc. in charge of MEP Engineering

Architectural Style

The 111 South Wacker Building can be categorized as a Contemporary building.

Contemporary style architecture builds on top of the principles of Modernism and Postmodernism, but incorporates other variables which might not have been that important in the past, but certainly are today, such as technology, sustainability, inclusivity, and others.

From a historical point of view, it is hard to categorize things from a not-so-distant time, and therefore we choose to categorize most buildings built after the year 2000 as "Contemporary". It is possible that as time goes by and we, as a society, gain perspective on the things happening today, we'll be able to look back and recategorize all these buildings into more concrete subsections, some of which might not even exist today.

That being said, and even thought being a contemporary building, probably taking advantage of modern materials, construction techniques, and technology, the design of the 111 South Wacker Building is inspired by the international-style style.

Spaces & Uses

The 111 South Wacker Building reaches an architectural height of 682ft (208m), with the last accesible floor being 669ft (204m) off the gorund. It has a total of 51 floors. In total, it has a built-up area of 1,456,991 sqf (135,359m2) offering 1,213,318 sqf (112,721m2) of usable space.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 389 spots available, which roughly equals 8 spots per floor (above ground), or one parking spot per every 3,122 sqf (290m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 2005, the 111 South Wacker Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

682ft (208m)
669ft (204m)

Materials & Structure

The 111 South Wacker Building uses a framed tube-in-tube structure , with steel columns and reinforced concrete slabs.

A framed tube-in-tube structure uses a central core, known as inner tube, which usually holds stairs, lifts and installations, and a perimeter of columns around it, which form the exterior tube. The interior tube is tipically more massive (often made of reinforced concrete), and the exterior tube is "lighter" (made of steel or concrete columns). Both tubes are conencted via horizontal elements which make up the floors and also transmit any horizontal froces from the facade to the core.

It is uncommon for a framed tube-in-tube structure type building to have a non-load-bearing facade, as the exterior "tube" is usually integrated into the facade.

The four vertical perimeter columns on each facade are transferred into 2 large columns on three sides of the building, creating the Y pattern that can be perceived through the glass of the first 6 floors. At ground level, these Y-shaped columns are spaced at 80 feet apart from each other

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a continuous blue-tinted glass curtain wall that spans from the second floor to the tip of the building. The four perimeter columns on each side are clad in stainless steel. These vertical stripes are prolonged on floors 2-5, even when the actual columns don't follow that trajectory, as they merge in a Y shape.

The lobby exudes openness and grandeur, with a textured marble-clad center core, complemented by a dramatic, stepped ceiling formed by the underside of the spiral speed ramp, all enclosed by a 44-foot high water white, non-reflective glass wall supported by one-inch diameter vertical cables spaced five feet apart.


  • www.111southwacker.com
  • www.loopnet.com
  • www.merrillsteel.com
  • 111southwackerdrive.info
  • www.architecture.org
  • en.wikipedia.org
  • gibsonelec.com
  • www.gbig.org