Cool Building Wednesday: 235 Van Buren

March 24, 2010


(photo by Lee Bey) 

The south/southwest Loop has gotten a few sharp-looking buildings as of late. My favorite of the bunch is the new 235 Van Buren, a condo tower near the mouth of the Eisenhower Expressway, designed by Ralph Johnson of Perkins & Will.

That just might be the best-looking roofline in the city. But what I really like is how the balconies--set in a rhythm somewhere between the dit-dash-dit of Morse Code and the staggered measures of a Thelonius Monk tune--on the south and west faces give the 46-story building, shadow, depth and punch:


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey) 

The balcony-free north side of the building on Van Buren has a nice symmetry going on. There is space for ground floor retail.

Johnson has quietly produced a collection of high-quality architecture in this town over the past decade, including the Boeing HQ, Skybridge, and the Contemporaine. The same can be said of‚  235's developer, CMK, which also built the Contemporaine and some other good ones.