200 South Wacker in Chicago

Photo of 200 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of 200 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of 200 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of 200 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of 200 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of 200 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

Chicago, Monroe and Wells, Fragmented Reflection

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200 South Wacker

200 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60606
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It is very tempting to compare 200 South Wacker with the Smurfitt-Stone building on the other side of the Loop. Both are standard architectural blocks of horizontal black-and-white bands. Both escape mediocrity by being playful with their roof lines. But Smurfitt-Stone has achieved some measure of celebrity status, while 200 South Wacker is figuratively, and literally, overshadowed by the Sears Tower across the street. What 200 South Wacker does to set itself apart from the cookie-cutter horizontal-striped office buildings that litter the American landscape is to cut its top few floors on a diagonal, revealing an interior faced in reflective glass. It's like cutting open the building to get at the soft, sparkly insides the way one slices through the thick, green exterior of a watermelon to get to the tasty meat inside. Naturally, this window space is coveted by those who work in the building. It's also one of the signatures of architect Harry Weese. He likes to defy conventional square architectural safety by introducing triangles into the equation. While it's a shame that the building turns its back on the Chicago River, it's only natural that the glass curtain wall face the star of the Loop architecture show – the Willis Tower.

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  • Floor space: 756,000 square feet
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