South Branch

Interior Architecture Award Submission

This restaurant occupies the ground floor of an office building; bound by a busy street to the north (Monroe), the South Branch of the Chicago River on the west, and a large 20,000 SF plaza shared by a neighboring building to the south. The expanse of the interior space, site on the Chicago River, as well as the expanse of the exterior space was what attracted the client to this site.

Two entries on opposite sides of the building, one on the north side (Monroe Street) and the other on the south side (Plaza), competed for hierarchy during the design process. Two identities were created as a solution. The "Plaza" dining room is entered through the outdoor plaza; trees frame columns to create the illusion of an open space between the exterior curtain wall and symmetrical "Plaza" bar. The "Monroe" dining room is entered from the street; textures are coarse in contrast to the softer textures of the "Plaza" dining room, bar seating prevails, the liquor display is more prominent, and the trees are horizontal. Ceiling cloud elements line the glass facade and reconcile the two sides of the restaurant.

Bottleneck Management
  • Advance Consulting Group Int'l
General contractor
Bramco Construction
Chicago, IL