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Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square | Courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square | Courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
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Chicago's Hottest New Architectural Landmarks to Look Out for in 2017

Picture of Tim Marklew
Updated: 11 May 2017
If the dynamism and progress of a city can be crudely measured by the number of cranes in use, then Chicago is the busiest city for residential development in the US, and second only to Seattle in overall development. The Crane Index, a biannual survey of crane activity by Rider Levett Bucknall North America, found that 56 cranes were active in Chicago in November, with Curbed reporting that there are currently 52 high-rises under construction. New buildings are opening all the time, and these are some of the best to look out for in 2017.

150 North Riverside

Due to its location between the river and active train tracks, the narrow site of 150 North Riverside provided quite an architectural challenge, but Chicago firm Goettsch Partners were up to it. They took the chance to design a stunning glass superstructure that cantilevers out to reach its full width at the eighth story, 100 feet above the plaza that will be the latest piece of developed riverfront in the city. The 54-story building has approximately 1.25 million square feet of office space, and has already garnered the nicknames “The Tuning Fork” and “The Guillotine” since its completion in 2017.

150 North Riverside
150 North Riverside | © Nick Ulivieri/Courtesy of Goettsch Partners, Inc.

The Hudson

One of the newest high rises in the city, The Hudson is a 25-story residential development on the corner of N Hudson and W Chicago Avenue in River North, set to open in summer 2017. Its design is reflective of the style of River North lofts with a modern spin, as the traditional brick and stone exterior gives way to more and more glass as the building reaches its highest point. It will house 240 one, two and three-bedrooms units.

Wolf Point West

The first of three new buildings to be built on Wolf Point, the land on the north bank of the confluence of the North Branch and the Main Stem of the Chicago River, Wolf Point West is a residential high-rise with 43 stories. It was completed in 2016. The 509-unit tower offers stunning views of the river and the loop, and will eventually be joined by a 750-foot tower at the east end of the site and a 950-foot tower at the southern tip of Wolf Point.

Wolf Point West
Wolf Point West | © Tim Marklew/Flickr

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Construction on the new home for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago began in 2013 and was completed in 2016. As state-of-the-art as hospitals come, the 27-story building has 1.2 million square feet of space, features a sky lobby on the 10th floor, three outdoor gardens and rooms offering views of the lake and the city skyline. Its glass exterior ensures the building is full of light and beautifully reflects the city around it.

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab | © 2016 Dave Burk/Courtesy of HDR | Gensler

Wintrust Arena

Opening Fall 2017, the Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square will be the new home of DePaul University’s basketball team, the Blue Demons, as well as a venue for concerts and other events. Part of a larger redevelopment plan for McCormick Place, the contemporary design from Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects features a dramatic curving membrane roof and a large glass facade. The arena will have a 10,000-seat capacity, as well as 22 suites, broadcast facilities, and concessions.

Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square
Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square | Courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

McCormick Place Headquarters Hotel

Another new addition to the McCormick Square development and right opposite the Wintrust Arena, the McCormick Place Headquarters Hotel is the largest hotel project in Chicago in recent years. The 39-story dark blue tower will have 1,205 guest rooms and 90,000 square feet of meeting space, including two 25,000-square-foot ballrooms. When it opens later in 2017 it will be operated as the Marriott Marquis Chicago.

Apple Store

With pride of place alongside the iconic Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower on the Chicago River and Michigan Avenue, there are fewer locations hotter for Apple’s new flagship Chicago store. Designed by Foster + Partners, the UK architecture firm also responsible for the brand new Apple Park in California, the space has been described as a high-tech version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s quintessentially Midwestern Prairie Style homes. The store is expected to open in 2017.