Willis Tower Transformation

Reimagining an Icon

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.

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.

Skillful spatial layering has transformed the Wacker entrance on the west into a processional sequence of monumental but nonetheless welcoming public rooms.

A portal of white-glazed terra-cotta leads to a skylit vestibule, where broad stairs rise between the tower’s massive steel columns to a second-floor lobby of august proportions, overhung by a gigantic paper sculpture and flanked by a reception area to the south plus an elegant public lounge to the north.

An adjacent roof terrace overlooking Adams will be open seasonally to a two-story restaurant anchoring the building’s northeast corner. On the first floor, a series of seating areas wraps the elevator banks, connecting with Catalog to the south and another lobby, entered from Franklin, to the east.

From street to sky, the building will provide inviting hospitality and memorable experiences on an unmatched scale, dissolving the borders between work and life and fostering a collaborative, friendly atmosphere. The Willis Tower Transformation project took home the Redevelopment of the Year Award in the Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards in 2021.