This technique-driven studio progressed from abstract formal manipulations of a cubic volume to an architectural scale, resulting in a project for an office and hotel tower in Chicago’s Printer’s Row. Nicknamed the Taco Tower, the project is derived from intersecting arched surfaces to produce formal effects and drive the organizational logic.
Throughout the process, programmed space was treated as solid, circualtion space as void. The intersecting voids carved out of the original cube boundary produce a continuous space, which wraps around and through the mass of the building, extending the ground plane to the rooftop on the 18th floor.
A relatively complex geometry emerges where the simply curved surfaces intersect; where three arched planes intersected in close proximity to a point, the profiles created by trimming the surface away combined to form a complex ridge. Traversing the slope of the ridge leads one to switch seamlessly from one surface to the next, contributing to the perception of spatial continuity. To reduce the circulation space to the required 30% of the total volume, material was extracted from the inverse massing model, resulting in suspended ‘negative carve-out’ shapes in the lobby. The hotel and office are organized around the public lobby, with parking space confined to the lower half of the building.