One South Dearborn

One South Dearborn
  1. About the One South Dearborn in Chicago
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The One South Dearborn is a Contemporary skyscraper designed by Keating and DeStefano & Partners and built between 2003 and 2005, for a reported $400 million dollars, in Chicago, IL.

Its precise street address is 1 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

Keating and DeStefano & Partners was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Keating and DeStefano & Partners 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 One South Dearborn a reality:

  • Halvorson Kaye Structural Engineers in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Turner Construction Company as the Main Contractor
  • Persohn / Hahn Associates as the company in charge of the elevators system
  • Hines Interests Limited Partnership as the Main Developer
  • Alvine & Associates in charge of MEP Engineering
  • Daniel Weinbach and Partners in charge of Landscape Architecture

Architectural Style

The One South Dearborn 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, by today's standards the One South Dearborn could probably be clasified as a ["eco"] building. Only time will tell if ["eco"] will grow and stick onto the history books, or if perhaps it will become a substyle of a larger style. Only time will tell. Until then, saying that the One South Dearborn is a Contemporary One South Dearborn building, is the best we can do.

Spaces & Uses

The One South Dearborn reaches an architectural height of 571ft (174m), with the last accesible floor being 502ft (153m) off the gorund. It has a total of 40 floors, served by 19 elevators.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 170 spots available, which roughly equals 4 spots per floor (above ground).

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

571ft (174m)
502ft (153m)

Materials & Structure

The One South Dearborn 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.

The structure is composed by a steel floor framing and steel perimeter columns which are reinforced by a concrete core, allowing the floors to have column-free 12-meter spans

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a continuous curtain wall from ground level to the top. The curtain is made of frosted glass for the first 6 floors, and then changes into a darker, reflective, blueish glass with grey spandrels and some metallic detailing.

At the top of the building a four-story "lantern" provides a distinctive visual element that sets it apart from the typical blue-glass buildings in the area. This design not only conceals rooftop mechanical equipment but also creates a captivating glow during daylight hours, complemented by artificial lighting at night.

Careful consideration was given to maintaining harmony with the landmark Inland Steel building, aligning the grid size and color with its neighboring structure.