Chicago Tribune — “Made with the Shade: A Striking Jeanne Gang Tower Elevates its Lakefront Setting in Hyde Park”

July 24, 2018

“The poet Carl Sandburg, he of the big-shouldered Chicago, surely would have liked this building, which rises confidently to the north of the Museum of Science and Industry and the future home of the Obama Presidential Center. The 27-story high-rise, called Solstice on the Park, was made for the shade.

The recessed windows of its signature southern wall are slanted at precisely 72 degrees, the angle at which the sun’s rays beat down here on the day of the summer solstice. The arrangement, which shades the living space behind the angled windows, promises to ward off blinding light and the blistering heat that makes people turn on the air conditioner. In winter, when the sun is low in the sky, the angled glass should increase the amount of daylight that enters the building and, with it, passive solar warming.

Just as important, the sun-shading has produced a building of sharp contrasts and captivating rhythms that succeeds as both a stand-alone object and a part of the cityscape. It is one of the city’s finest new high-rises. And like much of Gang’s work, it’s as significant for the ideas behind it as for the building itself. ...

It remains to be seen, of course, if the sun-shading arrangement delivers the promised energy savings, but it’s already clear that Gang has wrung a high level of architectural creativity out of a building type that typically yields visual monotony.”

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Photo: Brian Cassella, courtesy the Chicago Tribune