Willis Tower Transformation Project

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Approximately 460,000 square feet of existing space within the Tower will be reconfigured.

In 2017, Clayco, in a partnership and joint venture with Turner Construction Company, began the construction for the reimagining and transformation of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower. As part of the transformation, approximately 460,000 square feet of existing space within the Tower was reconfigured. This includes 150,000 square feet of space for exclusive tenant use, including a full-service fitness center, expansive tenant lounges, private event space and concierge services to create an inspiring and energetic work environment.

The mission of the redevelopment is to create an all-season, urban destination that brings the surrounding community together and creates a true neighborhood that is the heart of downtown Chicago. With its new design, Willis Tower will offer an inviting and vibrant pedestrian experience while honoring the building’s role as a unique Chicago and American icon. It will create a sense of place, not just a place to work, allowing people to own their experience in the Tower.

Willis Tower’s Wacker lobby was remade from the ground up to be more open and inviting. It features expansive lounges, a bar and patio. The lobby reopened in July 2019 and features an art installation by renowned artist Jacob Hashimoto titled “In the Heart of this Infinite Particle of Galactic Dust, 2019.” The hanging sculpture is nearly 16-feet tall and 42-feet wide creating a cloud built from nearly 7,000, nine-inch individual kite-like disks.

The plan also calls for more than 300,000 square feet of new retail, dining and entertainment space, called the Catalog, to be added to the base of the building. The Catalog will fill up five stories of the redevelopment and will be topped by a new 30,000-square-foot outdoor deck and garden space. The Tower’s transformation includes a new three-story, transparent, glass structure set atop the existing plaza, with three subterranean floors centered around a winter garden with a dramatic skylight.

Involved in the project is San Francisco-based design firm Gensler, Project Architect; and Gonzalez Architects, tenant-only office amenities designer.


Beyond These Walls

Summer Camp

Campers from Project Pipeline Summer Camp, an architecture summer camp, were invited to Turner-Clayco’s Topping Out ceremony for Willis Tower. The campers got the opportunity to sign the steel beam, forever leaving their mark on this iconic Chicago building!

CLIENT

Blackstone & Equity Office

LOCATION

Chicago, Illinois

SIZE

460,000 SF

KEY FACTS

  • Project Architect: Gensler
  • Tenant Space Architect: Gonzalez Architects

AWARDS

Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards: Redevelopment of the Year Award in the Office / Retail