300 N. LaSalle Street
Hines, Pickard Chilton Architects, Inc.
Located at one of the last and best development sites in Chicago, on the north bank of the Chicago River at LaSalle Street, 300 N. LaSalle Street is a new 60-story office building with a large law firm as the anchor tenant. The site plan takes advantage of the location, with the building pushed to the north side of the site and the sunny south side of the site, facing the river, developed for people.
The riverside plaza has three levels. The upper level is a public plaza accessible from the street and the lobby finished with granite paving and furnished with benches, pedestrian-scale lighting, and planters; landscaping including nine 8-inch caliper Autumn Blaze maples with shrub, perennial, and groundcover planting below. The large shade trees ensure that the view of the river from the lobby is framed, not blocked. The smaller intermediate level is accessible from the building’s mezzanine level amenities, which includes restaurants and services, and thus provides the opportunity for outdoor dining. The lowest level is a public riverwalk at dock level, with benches, lighting, built-in planters, and landscaping, including a large specimen-quality multi-stem maple tree as an accent near LaSalle Street, and four large Ivory Silk tree lilacs.
Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc. worked closely with Hines and the architect, Pickard Chilton Architects, to develop a plaza that was responsive to the building’s structural constraints – which led to the three-level plaza – but was also designed as a plaza and amenity for building tenants, visitors, and the public. The plaza is fully accessible from an elevator located on the plaza, with a sloped sidewalk providing access between the intermediate and lower levels. Completion was in Spring 2009, with LEED Gold certification, including two Sustainable Site water efficiency credits by using filtered river water for the irrigation water supply.