A stunning high-rise building in the heart of Chicago, fondly referred to as “Solstice on the Park”, is an amazing example of sustainable architecture and construction, lending itself to eco-friendly best practice and setting the bar extremely high for other firms to emulate.
Sun diagrams as inspiration
“Solstice on the Park” is essentially a luxury apartment building with gorgeous views of Hyde Park, the infamous Museum of Science, Jackson Park and the lake, all against the backdrop of the skyline. The apartment building is also chockfull of awe-inspiring features that are as gorgeous as they are functional.
For example, the form of the building has been designed using sun diagrams as inspiration. At the solstice, when the sun is at its highest point, it hits the building at precisely 72 degrees – and the indents lean at the same angle. The reason for this is to reduce the amount of heat that floods into the apartments during the summer months, ultimately reducing the amount of energy necessary to cool the space using air-conditioning.
Maximising the environment
The angling works in the building’s and the environment’s favour throughout winter too. The angled concrete panels, which were developed by material developer, Rieder, create a solar advantage by making it possible for low-level sunlight to penetrate far into the space, warming it up substantially and reducing the need for maximum interior heating.
The result is a building which is equipped to maximise natural resources and therefore reduce the strain placed on the environment when it comes to enhancing and maintaining residents’ comfort relating to weather, regardless of the season.
Colour variation reflects aesthetic
Along with sustainable design, the high-rise building also boasts beautiful colour variation and strategic placement of coloured panels that grab one’s attention immediately.
In total, the building is comprised of 26 storeys and 250 luxury apartments, which are covered in over 4 000m² of dark grey and beige-coloured exterior panelling. All of this panelling has been placed in such a way that it highlights the tower’s unique structure.
The dark grey panels reflect the internal “muscular” concrete structure, while the light-beige cladding mirrors the materials of the surrounding buildings, helping “Solstice on the Park” to fit in with the area’s architectural aesthetic, and yet still stand out. The beige panels are also designed to complement the wooden finishes found in the interior of the apartments, creating a sense of unity both inside and outside the building.
“This concept of relationship creation as the moving force for design is not only true for ‘Solstice on the Park’ with regard to solar energetic advantages,” explained Rieder. “The incline makes the tree crowns appear even closer and larger, and provides a maximum view thanks to enlarged glass surfaces.”
The end-result is a feeling of living closer to nature and embracing “greener” solutions that enhance everyday living and quality of life in general.