300 East Randolph Vertical Completion Winner
Distinguished Building Award, Special Recognition
300 East Randolph is a two-phased, vertically expanded office tower overlooking Grant Park in Chicago. The 57-story building primarily serves as the headquarters for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois division. In the mid-‘90s, HCSC required a facility that would consolidate operations while providing a plan for long-term growth—without relocating.
The design team’s innovative solution for accommodating growth is the unprecedented concept of vertical expansion. The building’s 33-story first phase was completed in 1997; more than a decade later in 2010, phase two was completed, adding 24 stories atop the original, fully occupied building.
The fundamental mechanism behind the expansion is a large, five-bay atrium. As high-rises are seldom based on an interior spatial concept, the atrium is unique. Designed to run the full-height of the building and accommodate elevators in both phases, it draws in abundant north light and offers a rare sense of the building’s verticality from the interior.
Open shafts add to the transparency while the center atrium bay features an open stair with breakout lounge and meeting spaces. Together, these elements provide a visual and physical connectivity within the company, and an inviting, inspiring space for employees.
Designed to improve company efficiency, enhance the work environment, and provide flexibility for growth in contiguous space, the 300 East Randolph building meets and well exceeds these goals. Through innovative design planning—and a company’s commitment to the original plan—the building sits as a city icon and testament to its foresight, providing a seamless, integrated expression that now achieves its full height and appropriately fits in the Chicago skyline.----------------------------James Steinkamp © Steinkamp Photography
Seen during construction, the vertical expansion rises from the initial building—all while the company remained fully operational within. Materials of glass, stainless steel and stone defined an initial aesthetic that was contemporary and yet easily matched over time.----------------------------(construction) © Marshall Gerometta; (completed) James Steinkamp © Steinkamp Photography
The open elevator shafts add to the transparency and porosity of the building. As the cabs and counterweights traverse the atrium, they provide a kinetic “pulse” of the building’s activity.----------------------------Mark Ballogg © Steinkamp/Ballogg
- Goettsch Partners
- Health Care Service Corporation
- Consentini Associates
- Jenkins & Huntington
- Magnusson Klemencic Associates
- One Lux Studio
- General contractor
- Walsh Construction
- Chicago, Illinois