333 West Wacker Drive

333 W Wacker Dr Chicago

Odyssey Chicago River Experience/333 West Wacker Drive
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> This 36-floor office Postmodern building was designed by Kohn Pedersen and Fox.

> The 489-foot curved, blue-green glass facade mimics the color of the river and changes shades of green depending on the sun.

> All of the office space is located above the El tracks to minimize noise.

A Postmodern Mirror

Designed by Kohn Pederson and Fox, it's notable for its facade that reflects the colors of the Chicago River. In 1995, Chicago Tribune readers even voted it "Favorite Building". Pederson refers to the building as a "Collection of Contextual References". It's often referred to as Postmodern, but the architect never like the term, preferring 'Contextualist' instead.

While the design is consistent with other Chicago buildings of the late 19th century, it's notable for taking into account elements of its contextual environment. For example, the tripartite structure (base, shaft, and capital) is relatively standard, but Pederson designed the building so that it appears to float above its stone base and above the river. The reflective effect of the facade is achieved through the combination of transparent glass windows and dark opaque spandrel glass. The banding is brushed stainless steel to add additional texture.

Almost Politically Famous

The building next to 333 W Wacker, 191 Wacker, is built on the site of The Wigwam, which was constructed for the 1860 Republican convention. It was there that the party nominated Illinois politician Abraham Lincoln. However, he was in Springfield, Il at the time.

“I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.”Abraham Lincoln speech at Chicago, Illinois. July 10, 1858

Did you know?

The building was selected as one of Illinois' 200 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects during the state bi-centennial celebration.

Cover image source: Kimberly Vardeman, CC BY 2.0, no changes made.

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Odyssey Chicago River Experience

333 West Wacker Drive

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