Miller Hull

156 West Superior Condominiums

Chicago, IL
With a rhythm of voids and solids, this eye-catching structure is a model for in-fill housing. Here, in contrast to the slash-and-burn renewal programs of the 1960's, modernism wields a light touch, filling a vacant lot without brutally disrupting everything around it. Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune architecture critic
Client Ranquist Development
Size 35,000 SF
Completion 2006


Located within Chicago’s emerging River North district, goals for this new building were to blend with adjacent brick and stone loft-type structures and to reflect the lively urban lifestyle of the formerly industrial neighborhood.

The project aesthetic is firmly embedded in the steel and glass style of Chicago’s I.I.T. School. The eight story building is organized like an irreducible living machine: stripped bare, rational and waiting to be lived in. Balconies projecting beyond the building provide down street views. These outdoor rooms function as surrogate living rooms and enable natural ventilation in each unit. Steel grating gives privacy, while allowing for more daylight and filtered views. Steel cross bracing carrying lateral loads and sub-frame carrying gravity loads provides an armature for the balconies while lending scale and identity to the building

A cost-conscious project, the steel structure omitted the need for lay-down space which provided a more efficient construction process. Also conforming to the budget and ease of maintenance is the basic material palette of an anti-graffiti CMU podium with metal framing above. Expressed structure, metal slat screen walls, commercial storefront windows and an open plan characterize the experience of the building which exemplifies the creative possibilities of urban infill.