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Chicago’s 156 W. Superior Condo Project Wins National Architecture and Engineering Award

Project Team to Receive Public Recognition On-Site


July 28, 2008 From American Institute of Steel Construction


The 156 W. Superior multi-family residential development has earned national recognition in the 2008 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program IDEAS2, and the entire project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction during a public ceremony at the 156 W. Superior site at 11 am Thursday, July 31. Project team members include structural engineers, Thornton Tomasetti, Chicago; the architecture team of The Miller/Hull Partnership, Seattle, Wash., and Studio Dwell Architects, Chicago; developer Ranquist Development, Inc., Chicago; structural steel fabricator Kingery Steel, Chicago; and general contractor Skender Construction Company, Palos Hills, Ill. Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievements in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects around the country.

The 156 W. Superior condominium project is a National Winner in the category of Projects Less than $15 million, making it one of only three around the country to earn an award in this classification. Each year, the IDEAS2 awards honor National and Merit award winners in three categories, based on constructed value: Projects Less than $15 million; Projects $15 million to $75 million; and Projects Greater than $75 million. Each project is judged on its use of structural steel, with an emphasis on creative solutions to project requirements; design innovation; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel; technical or architectural advances in the use of steel; the use of innovative design and construction methods; and sustainable design.

The nine IDEAS2 winners for 2008 were chosen from more than 85 submissions received by architectural and engineering firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals. Included among the 2008 winners are the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va; and the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Va.

“The 156 W. Superior project combines beautiful architecture and the efficient use of structural steel,” commented Jerry Pault of contractor Hensel-Phelps and one of the panel judges. “The devil is in the details and this job nailed the details; very clean. The client received a great value in this building.”

Located within the emerging River North district in downtown Chicago, 156 W. Superior is a nine-story, mid-rise tower that explores the steel and glass language of the Second Chicago School, which was defined by the work of the Mies van der Rohe and early SOM designs. The project includes a 45 x 100-ft mid-block site bounded by alleys and a historic stone townhouse. The structural frame becomes a visible system that lends scale and identity to the building. To articulate the building mass, a steel frame structural bay fully enclosed in glass occupies the center portion of the south and north elevations. By expressing these elevations, the building seems larger than its 120-ft height and is able to hold its own in an area of tall buildings. The narrow building frontage led the team to develop units that span the entire width of the structure, creating a visual identity for each homeowner within the façade.

The IDEAS2 awards are among the nation’s most prestigious in the fields of architecture and engineering, with the annual program dating back over 70 years to the earliest years of AISC’s existence. Roger E. Ferch, P.E. president of AISC, said, “The entire 156 W. Superior project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create buildings that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a facility that serves its residents extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

To view images of the 156 W. Superior project, please Click here.

American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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