71 South Wacker Building

71 South Wacker
  1. About the 71 South Wacker Building in Chicago
    1. Prizes & Awards
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The 71 South Wacker Building is a Contemporary skyscraper designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, with Henry N. Cobb as lead architect,, in association with A. Epstein and Sons International, and built between 2002 and 2005 in Chicago, IL.

71 South Wacker Building is not the only name you might know this building by though. The building is, or has also been known as Hyatt Center.

Its precise street address is 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The 71 South Wacker Building has received multiple architecture awards for its architectural design since . The following is a list of such prizes and awards:

The building wasn't initially conceived with LEED standards in mind. Constructed by the Pritzker Realty Group back in 2004, the property changed hands to The Irvine Company in 2010, coinciding with the culmination of a significant sustainability initiative. Setting up a sustainability steering committee alongside the four primary tenants in 2009, they embarked on an exploration of sustainable prospects. Their efforts were widely successful, and the building won numerous awards and certifications in the realm of sustainability after that date.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, with Henry N. Cobb as the lead architect, was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design, in association with A. Epstein and Sons International.

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners 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 71 South Wacker Building a reality:

  • Halvorson and Partners in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Permasteelisa Group in charge of Facade Consultancy
  • Higgins Development Partners, LLC as the Main Developer
  • Environmental System Design, Inc in charge of MEP Engineering
  • Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects in charge of Landscape Architecture
  • Ricci Albenda and Keith Tyson as the collaborating Artist

Architectural Style

The 71 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 71 South Wacker Building is inspired by the international-style style.

Spaces & Uses

The 71 South Wacker Building reaches an architectural height of 679ft (207.1m). It has a total of 50 floors, 48 above ground and 2 basements, served by 28 elevators.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 163 spots available, which roughly equals 3 spots per floor (above ground).

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 2005, the 71 South Wacker Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

679ft (207.1m)
2 basements

Materials & Structure

The 71 South Wacker Building uses a framed tube-in-tube structure , with steel columns and 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.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a bold elliptical shape, featuring curved stainless steel and glass curtain wall. Each module of the curtain wall is divided into 3 sections, a large green-tinted pane, a smaller, opaque, green spandrel, and a squared-shaped stainless steel section that hides each floor slab and the space that the installations take up through the false ceiling. Each panel is also framed by a stainless steel frame. The building is therefore perceived as the staking of horizontal bands, each with three layers.

At street level, a glass-faced lobby rises 36 feet, welcoming pedestrians into its space. Additionally, the block-long garden, shaped by the tower, serves as an oasis of green amidst the urban landscape, offering respite to the thousands of commuters who traverse Monroe Street daily between the railroad station and the Loop.


  • en.wikipedia.org
  • www.irvinecompanyoffice.com
  • www.pcf-p.com
  • aviewoncities.com
  • www.loopnet.com
  • www.epsteinglobal.com
  • demo.processwire.com
  • www.fodors.com
  • gbdmagazine.com