Essex on the Park

Essex On The Park
  1. About the Essex on the Park in Chicago
    1. Prizes & Awards
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Essex on the Park is a Contemporary skyscraper designed in 2015 by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and built between 2017 and 2019, for a reported $190 million dollars, in Chicago, IL.

Essex on the Park is not the only name you might know this building by though. The building is, or has also been known as 812 South Michigan.

Its precise street address is 808 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

In 2019 the Essex on the Park was awarded with the WELL Certification multi-family.

The building has a four story winter garden oasis with unobstructed lake and city views. This garden becomes a vertical extension of the park, while the swimming pool mirrors the water of Lake Michigan.

Building's timeline

Design completed
Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline involving 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 Essex on the Park a reality:

  • WSP in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Power Construction as the Main Contractor
  • Oxford Capital Group as the Main Developer
  • IMEG Engineering Consultants in charge of MEP Engineering
  • Confluence in charge of Landscape Architecture

Architectural Style

The Essex on the Park 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 Essex on the Park is inspired by the international-style style.

Spaces & Uses

The Essex on the Park reaches an architectural height of 620ft (189m). It has a total of 56 floors.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 177 spots available, which roughly equals 3 spots per floor (above ground).

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 2019, the Essex on the Park has mainly been used as Residential space.

About the residences

The Essex on the Park has a total of 479 residential units throughout its 56 floors.

620ft (189m)

Materials & Structure

The Essex on the Park uses a frame structure made of concrete columns and beams.

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.

To support the building's height and accommodate its architectural design, a reinforced concrete core is the backbone, housing elevators, stairwells, and utility shafts. The structural system incorporates innovative seismic design strategies to ensure resilience against potential earthquakes, a critical consideration in Chicago's urban landscape

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a continuous curtain wall. The shade of the windows falls somewhere between blue and green. The facade is punctuated by white vertical fins, that not only serve as sunshades but also add a sense of depth and texture to the building's exterior.