One North Wacker Building

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

The One North Wacker Building is a Contemporary skyscraper designed by Goettsch Partners and built between 1999 and 2002 in Chicago, IL.

One North Wacker Building is not the only name you might know this building by though. The building is, or has also been known as UBS Tower.

Its precise street address is 1 N Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

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

  • Development of the Year by the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards in 2001
  • Best Streetscape Addition by Chicago Magazine in 2002
  • Award of Merit, Large Structure by the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois in 2002
  • Merit Award for New Construction by the Chicago Building Congress in 2002
  • Downtown Office Development of the Year by the by the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties in 2002
  • Divine Detail Honor Award for the UBS Tower Cable Netwall, by the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2003
  • Divine Detail Honor Award for the UBS Tower Planters, by the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2003
  • General Design Honor Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2007

At the time of its completion in 2002 the One North Wacker Building incorporated solutions that were quite advanced at the time, these included an enormous glass wall of fifteen meters that confines the perimeter of the lobby space in 1.500 square meters of glass. This glass wall was a first in the United States.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

Goettsch Partners was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Goettsch 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 One North Wacker Building a reality:

  • Koz Sowlat in charge of Structural Engineering
  • AMEC as the Main Contractor
  • John Buck Company as the Main Developer
  • Environmental Systems Design, Inc. in charge of MEP Engineering
  • Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture Inc. in charge of Landscape Architecture

Architectural Style

The One North 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.

Spaces & Uses

The One North Wacker Building reaches an architectural height of 653ft (199m), with the last accesible floor being 600ft (183m) off the gorund. It has a total of 52 floors, 50 above ground and 2 basements. In total, it has a built-up area of 1,753,999 sqf (162,952m2) offering 1,399,307 sqf (130,000m2) of usable space.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 220 spots available, which roughly equals 4 spots per floor (above ground), or one parking spot per every 6,361 sqf (591m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 2002, the One North Wacker Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

653ft (199m)
600ft (183m)
2 basements

Materials & Structure

The One North Wacker Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and steel and 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 of the building however, is load bearing. This doesn't imply that it is a traditional load-bearing wall. Rather, it means that the structure's exterior pillars have been pushed to the very edges, becoming integrated with the facade, and therefore, technically, a part of it.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a glass curtain wall organized into several bays by the structural columns of the frame that have been pushed all the way out and are embedded into the facade. These columns are covered in polished steel.