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Your Location: World North America U.S.A. Illinois Chicago Thompson Center

Thompson Center

Identification

Thompson Center
James R. Thompson Center, State of Illinois Building
117313

Map

Structure in General

high-rise building
existing [completed]
steel
caisson foundation
glass
curtain wall
blue
postmodernism

Usage

commercial office
shop(s) restaurant metro station museum

Facts

  • The office floors wrap around a giant cylindrical atrium which extends through the roof to a sloping skylight. The atrium is separated from the plaza by a curved glass wall.
  • The building houses state government offices, a post office, a rapid transit station serving five train lines, shops, sculptures, a free public art gallery, and a blood donation center.
  • At the time of its construction the design was a sharp break from convention, with a broad sloping curve of glass sweeping from one corner of the block to the other. The shape has often been compared to a spaceship.
  • The building's bold design by Helmut Jahn was commissioned by four-term Illinois governor James R. Thompson, after whom the building is named.
  • Conceived as a futuristic reinterpretation of the state capitol form, the building's skylight and central atrium stand in for the traditional dome and rotunda.
  • This structure replaced the Michael A. Bilandic Building across the street as the principal Illinois state government building in Chicago.
  • Glass elevators with vaulted tops shuttle passengers up and down a pair of elevator bays that project into the atrium.
  • The basement level holds an auditorium and a large food court which opens onto the atrium.
  • Just inside the main entrance a waterfall pours down to the lower level between a pair of escalators.
  • The plaza features the Jean Dubuffet sculpture Monument With Standing Beast, a 4-piece amorphic fiberglass construction painted white and crossed by a web of black lines.
  • The Dubuffet sculpture's companion, Monument With Phantom, is located in the plaza of the Enterprise Plaza in Houston.
  • A two-story open gallery encircles the entire building at sidewalk level, with round columns screened by flat granite panels.
  • The columns and granite screens which encircle the base continue around the perimeter of the plaza, decreasing in height the farther they get from the building.
  • Blue glass, salmon-pink panels, red structural elements, and pink granite give the interior and exterior an eye-catching color scheme.

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More Information

Location

100 West Randolph Street
60601
U.S.A.

Technical Data

308.00 ft
308.00 ft
308.00 ft
17
1983
1985
14
4

Involved Companies

Design Architect:

Associate Architect:

Also recorded for this building:

electrical connections, electrical contractor, escalator supplier, facade consultant, facade installation, facade maintenance system supplier, facility management, fire protection engineering, general contractor, owner, roofing supplier, window installation

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • Atrium is present
  • Metro entrance inside building
  • Panoramic elevators are present
  • Pedway access is available
  • Plaza is available to the public