Three Illinois Center

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

The Three Illinois Center is an International Style skyscraper designed by Fujikawa Conterato Lohan and Associates, in association with Schipporeit-Heinrich Inc., and built in 1979 in Chicago, IL.

Three Illinois Center is not the only name you might know this building by though. The building is, or has also been known as 303 Wacker.

Its precise street address is 303 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

Architect and team

Fujikawa Conterato Lohan and Associates was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design, in association with Schipporeit-Heinrich Inc..

Architectural Style

The Three Illinois Center can be categorized as an International Style building.

The international style originated in Europe in the early 20th century, and made its way to the US a couple of decades later when the rise of the Nazi regime forced figures such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, or Mies van der Rohe to flee Europe.

The International Style emerged as a response to the prevailing historicism and ornate architecture styles of the late 19th century, which according to a younger generation of architects didn't represent the new materials and construction techniques that were on the rise at the time.

Architecture in the early 20th century US was marked by the adoption of steel structures, modern construction techniques, and the rise of the skyscraper. As it turns out, this combination of circumstances created the perfect ecosystem for the International Style to flourish, becoming the to-go style for skyscraper designs during the mid-20th century, when American cities were growing fast.

The International Style’s legacy can not only be found in numerous iconic buildings across all major American cities, but also incorporated in contemporary architecture, which still puts a big emphasis on functionality and minimalism.

Spaces & Uses

The Three Illinois Center reaches an architectural height of 351ft (107m). It has a total of 28 floors, served by 19 elevators.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 294 spots available, which roughly equals 11 spots per floor (above ground).

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1979, the Three Illinois Center has mainly been used as Commercial space.

351ft (107m)

Materials & Structure

The Three Illinois Center uses a frame structure made of 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.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a classic Miesian design, with a curtain wall made of dark glass and bronze-tinted metal, suspended above an open ground floor where just a few glass walls mark the entrance to the building.