Citadel Center

Citadel Center
  1. About the Citadel Center in Chicago
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Citadel Center is a Postmodernist skyscraper designed by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura and built between 2000 and 2003, for a reported $185 million dollars, in Chicago, IL.

Citadel Center is not the only name you might know this building by though. The building is, or has also been known as Dearborn Center.

Its precise street address is 131 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

A limited edition of one of the most famous sculptures in the world, "Winged Victory of Samothrace", was exhibit on the lobby for many years, until 2018.

At the time of its completion in 2003 the Citadel Center incorporated solutions that were quite advanced at the time, these included the use of an elevated-floor pressurized plenum system, enabling effective underfloor air circulation and personalized climate control through diffusers mounted on the floor. It was the first time that this innovative approach, which enhances the well-being of occupants by ensuring a continuous supply of fresh air throughout the entire vertical space, was used in Chicago.

Research indicates that such measures contribute to a healthier and more conducive working environment, and also, contributed to the building getting the Energy Star certification and the LEED Gold award.

The building underwent a major restoration in 2018.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago
  1. 2018 - The $100M renovation included the creation of a new conference center where 182 people could be seated, and a roof deck and a new amenities area that included a huge fitness center and a luxury lounge on the 12th floor.

Architect and team

Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura 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 at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Paul Beitler development co. as the Main Developer.

Architectural Style

The Citadel Center can be categorized as a Postmodernist building.

Postmodernism in architecture emerged in the United States during the late 1960s as a reaction against the starkness of the International Style, which part of the new generation of architects argued was too impersonal, sterile, and disconnected from historical and cultural contexts.

Postmodernism challenged the International Style's austerity by reintroducing historical elements and ornamentation, although this time not as literally as in the Neo-Classic buildings. Instead, they reinterpreted them within the context of modern materials and construction techniques.

Postmodern buildings often feature bold, contrasting colors, unconventional forms, and a playful blend of various architectural elements from different eras and cultures.

In the United States, Postmodernism was not just an aesthetic choice but also a philosophical stance. It represented a democratization of design, where architects sought to create buildings that were accessible and meaningful to a broader range of people, not just designers and intellectuals.

The Citadel Center was completed in 2003. by 2003 the Postmodernism movement was experiencing a transition. Critics argued that Postmodernism, initially a rebellious and innovative style, had become formulaic and commercialized, and so the trend started moving away from blending historical styles, irony, and playful ornamentation, and begun to give way to emerging architectural trends concerned with more present matters such as technology, ecology or sustainability.

The Citadel Center was kind of late to Postmodernist movement, which in some ways might make it seem older than it really is.

Spaces & Uses

The Citadel Center reaches an architectural height of 581ft (177m). It has a total of 39 floors, 37 above ground and 2 basements. In total, it has a built-up area of 1,926,168 sqf (178,947m2) offering 1,536,547 sqf (142,750m2) of usable space.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 211 spots available, which roughly equals 6 spots per floor (above ground), or one parking spot per every 7,287 sqf (677m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 2003, the Citadel Center has mainly been used as Commercial space.

581ft (177m)
2 basements

Materials & Structure

The Citadel Center uses a frame structure made of steel columns and reinforced concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

This project was designed with sustainability in mind, and following that idea the architects and engineers decided to reuse part of the foundations of the building that previously stood on the site

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a blue-colored, all glass, curtain wall that mirrors its surroundings.

Although the building is roughly a square prism, the facades are slightly curved and the corners are inverted, creating two edges on each corner.

The lobby is quite monumental, with super high 9-meter ceilings.