1720 S Michigan

Brininstool + Lynch Architects: 1720 S Michigan

1720 S Michigan

Chicago, Illinois


Situated in the South Loop, this thirty-two story tower rises up to offer panoramic views of the lake and the city. Not only do the building’s systems and materials result in stunning architectural form and detail, they are designed to be both efficient and economical. The post-tensioned concrete structure is arranged to optimize spans while reducing the amount of concrete and reinforcement required.

The tower stands on a base of first-floor retail space framed by a concrete architectural element that vertically defines the residential entry on the street. Horizontally, this element separates the base from the tower above it.  On the ninth floor, a large terrace provides common outdoor space. Floors nine through thirty-one are expressed on the east and west through a concrete spandrel frame. These spandrels eliminate the need for safety glazing and enhance the thermal envelope, while providing six and a half feet of light and air to every unit. The north and south elevations feature a floor to floor window wall system consistent with the building’s base.  The building culminates in a spandrel element that appears to float above the residential penthouse. In addition to screening the rooftop mechanicals from view, this element enables the penthouse to enjoy extra high ceilings and windows, as well as large outdoor terraces.

Project Type

Multi-Family Residential


652,500 square feet


Bovis Lend Lease


Terra Engineering, Civil
C.E. Anderson & Associates, Structural
WCW Engineers Inc., MPFP
Environmental Group, Electrical
H.H. Angus, Elevator
Horvath Reich, Exterior


Ballinger, Barbara. “Breaking Ground,” I4Design, Fall 2006, 36-43.


Jamie Padgett, Padgett and Company, Inc.