Surrounded by newer stainless steel and glass high rise buildings, the 311 W. Monroe building need not worry about these neighbors and must rely upon its inherent strengths to counteract their scale and aesthetics. These attributes include a timeless material, solidity of mass, and most importantly, the opportunity to utilize its unique human scale to engage pedestrians. The timeless material can be found in the granite façade. This material has stood the test of time and must be celebrated. The solidity can be found in the rhythmic play of solid and void along the entire façade. Human scale is achieved by the clever separation of the upper solid building mass from the lower more transparent façade. The collective attributes must be celebrated and used as the foundation upon which the building will be transformed.
The human experience must be considered for tenants, guests, visitors and passersby. The design must respond to people. We have achieved this by relocating the entry to Franklin, eliminating the ground level parking, segregating retail from office, and transforming the building exterior in a manner which is most perceptible from the human, ground level experience. The proposed new design is sleek, modern, innovative and what is to be found in the next generation of commercial office buildings. What is of equal importance is how our design respects the past and builds upon it as a platform for creating and reinvigorated property at 311 W. Monroe.