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Thor Equities’ 800 Fulton Market — “Chicago’s Smartest Building” — Envisions a New Kind of Workplace

Applying new innovations, 800 Fulton Market leverages advanced capacity-monitoring technology and ample outdoor space to promote tenant safety, health, and wellness.

Global real estate leaders and joint venture partners QuadReal and Thor Equities Group, are excited to announce the completion of 800 Fulton Market, creating a gateway to one of   Chicago’s fastest growing neighborhoods, the Fulton Market District. The 326-foot-tall mixed-use office tower includes pandemic-responsive design features, from seven landscaped terraces that allow for indoor/outdoor workspaces, to state-of-the-art smart building systems. The project is LEED Platinum, targets WELL Building Standard certification, and is home to offices for tech-oriented companies like The Aspen Group and John Deere.

Designed by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), 800 Fulton Market is carefully proportioned to relate to the rhythm and scale of the neighborhood’s historic low-rise streetscape as well as Chicago downtown high rises through a series of stepped terraces. The 19-story design features a facade of brick, glass, and architecturally expressed structural bracing to further relate to the industrial character of the surrounding neighborhood, while landscaped outdoor spaces with native plantings and trees offer tenants generous access to the outdoors.

“We set out to design a building that would feel like it had always been part of Fulton Market’s historic, industrial character, but also recognized the pressures and concerns of the new vibrant neighborhood,” says Brian Lee, SOM Consulting Design Partner. “This sensitivity informed everything from our material choices to the gracefully stepped form, in conversation with both its immediate context as well as Chicago’s famous skyline.”

800 Fulton Market features a range of smart building systems that promote wellness, sustainability, and energy efficiency. To best support tenants and maintain the building effectively, Thor engaged Buildings IOT, a building network and management system that runs on a cloud-based infrastructure, to deliver machine learning insights to the property team for resolution and observation. The platform’s technology creates an unparalleled experience for tenants and their employees through monitoring spaces and circulating fresh air throughout the building. In addition, the building also features electronic charging stations and scooters for tenant use, 5G DAS (Distributed Antenna System) connectivity, and a centralized tenant mobile app via RISE to house tenant access control and offer employees the ability to reserve amenities in the building. Through extensive analysis of the building’s life cycle and eco-focused design, the building presents an embodied carbon footprint that is 10% lower than the target goal for the year 2030, an incredible achievement for modern day development. 

The building is distinguished by its external steel X-braced frames, a continuation of SOM’s unique history of creating structurally expressive architecture. The frames are engineered to withstand Chicago’s harsh winters and strong winds, contracting in cooler weather, and expanding in warmer   temperatures. Together with an offset core made of glass suspended along the north side of the building, this unique structural system enables large, open floor plates and flexible, light-filled workspaces.

“The completion of 800 W. Fulton – a milestone for Thor’s global portfolio – represents our commitment to developing best-in-class properties and special attention to sustainability practices,” said Chief Operating Officer of Thor Equities Group, Melissa Gliatta. “Every detail of the asset has been carefully thought out and together with QuadReal, we thank all of the talented teams involved for their dedication in bringing our vision to life.”

Inside, a triple height main lobby is defined by a cantilevered staircase and mezzanine that create layered spaces of activity. The material approach, which utilizes exposed concrete, wood and red brick, mimics the tower’s exterior and draws inspiration from the neighborhood’s industrial character. With its flexible workstations and seating, the lobby also becomes a place of exchange that blends seamlessly into the busy streetscape.

A vibrant mix of retail, community, and conferencing spaces, a fitness center and lounge activate the site throughout the day. On the 18th and 19th floors, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Chicago from the rooftop bar and terraces. Six site-specific murals are featured throughout the space, all completed by Chicago-based artists.

The project was designed by SOM and constructed by Lendlease for Thor Equities and QuadReal in collaboration with Omni Ecosystems, dbHMS, Engage Civil, VDA, Schuler Shook, Ava Grey Designs, CDC and Teligan.

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