The Greening of SOM’s Inland Steel Building Chicago

Chicago’s Inland Steel Building, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), was built in 1958. It is a recognizable icon, representative of commercial high rises of the post World War II era of modern architecture. In 2008, SOM was asked to renovate the stainless-steel Chicago Landmark into an office hotel. This concept “offers tenants a sustainable and fully outfitted office space, while still allowing for flexibility in office layout, size and lease duration.”
The project has faced obstacles preventing its progress over the last few years due to a tough economy and strict historic preservation restrictions. Because of the buildings landmark status, the process of implementing sustainable building methods used in new buildings, has proven difficult. Elements such as a double glazed curtain wall for energy efficiency were not approved. The project has prompted important conversation on the issue of preservation, landmark status and sustainable design.

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