Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tower
Structure in General
- An enormous atrium, open to the public by special arrangement only, runs up the north side of the building.
- The structure is built to support 24 additional floors, and may be extended whenever Blue Cross Blue Shield requires additional space.
- A 37-story proposal called 300 East Randolph was planned for this site in 1989.
- The facade facing Grant Park is sometimes used at night as an illuminated billboard, displaying words formed by opening and closing window shades.
- The concourse level below Randolph Street is connected to the Grant Park underground garage by hanging walkways under Upper Randolph.
- In keeping with the main tenant's egalitarian corporate philosophy, the executive offices are situated midway up the building on the 15th floor.
- The piers on the east and west facades are clad in granite, giving this building the last full-height original facade of any high-rise built in Chicago using any kind of natural stone.
- The atrium consists of 2 empty vertical shafts with an open staircase and several platforms between them. Its function is to reserve room for additional elevator shafts in case a vertical addition is built.
- The facade materials were chosen to show mimimal aging, so that in case a vertical addition is built there will be no visible discontinuity.
- The conference center under the back plaza features an extensive collection of art from the City of Chicago's Gallery 37 program for student artists.
- The building's site was chosen because of its good land value at the time, and has little to do with the fact that other large insurance companies are located nearby. (Aon for instance moved next door later.).
- Fritted glass is used extensively throughout the building: on the facade, in the elevators, and on interior partitions around the atrium.
- A large signboard on the lower level of the lobby holds plaques dedicated to the insurance company's 100 largest customers.
- This was the only office high-rise constructed in Chicago between 1992 and 1999. It was built in a glutted market, but Blue Cross required a large block of contiguous space which was not available elsewhere.
- Unlike most composite-structure skyscrapers, the majority of elevators in this building are located outside the concrete service cores.
- A circular stone Shaker lodge was built in the middle of the 15th floor to house the executive meeting room.
- The elevators facing the atrium are enclosed in translucent fritted glass so as not to give riders vertigo.
- The lobby's centerpiece is an oval reception desk with an oval halo hanging overhead. These round forms are mirrored 14 floors higher by the 'Shaker Lodge' meeting room.
- A landscaped plaza fills out the building lot on the north and east sides, with views of the Lakeshore East complex.
- Architect James Goettsch with Goettsch Partners is the designer for the project. The 32-story first phase was completed in 1997 under the firm name of Lohan Associates (now Goettsch Partners). The 25-story second phase is scheduled for completion in 2010.
- The building won separate Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects in 1998 for its overall and interior design.
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Also recorded for this building:
acoustics consultant, civil engineering, client, concrete supplier, developer, electrical contractor, electrical engineering, elevator engineering, elevator supplier, facade consultant, facade designer, facade maintenance system supplier, facade supplier, general contractor, glass supplier, interior designer, MEP engineering, owner, parking management, property management, steel supplier, structural engineering, window installation
Features & Amenities
- Atrium is present
- Doorman is available
- Panoramic elevators are present
- Pedway access is available
- Plaza is available to the public