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The Franklin

Chicago, IL

Photography: Steve Hall | Hall Merrick

A lobby, which serves more than 20,000 people daily, is used as a connector between three streets and a gateway to access two prominent office high-rise towers.

Originally designed as a series of connected decorative rooms with large, closely-spaced view-obstructing columns, the lobby was negatively affecting leasing as more and more potential tenants walked away from building tours once they experienced the space.

To reposition the lobby, a phased, occupied renovation was implemented. The plan incorporated material preservation and smart energy-reduction.

LEED® Silver EB

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Light and its modulation were used as the primary element to create a cohesive experience. Two main entry points were relocated deeper into the building lobby, and each portal was surrounded by continuous full-height glass planes.

Of the 127,000-sf of finishes, 88,000-sf was kept intact, preserving the embodied energy of 69% of all materials and representing 549 tons of waste avoided.

The central atrium culminates in a suspended light sculpture by Leo Villareal.

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