Monday, November 25, 2013

Wolf Point Site Preparation Begins

bKL rendering of West Tower at Wolf Point -- view facing north toward Kinzie Street 
Fresh off the successful completion of Coast, the glassy upscale rental tower in Lakeshore East, Thomas Kerwin and bKL are watching as construction begins on their next new design at Wolf Point.  Wolf Point, the last remnant of a time when the Boston Kennedy’s owned over three square blocks of riverfront real estate and one of the earliest areas of settlement in the city back in the early 1800’s, is a conspicuous location, and it looks as though bKL has designed this, the first of three towers to fill the site, as a stunner.

As part of a master plan put together by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, bKL will see its 48-story West Tower, an upscale rental building with 510 units, completed as the first and least tall structure to fill the site.  According to the bKL website, “The highly visible tower meets the river’s edge gracefully.  The building is made up of a series of layered planes that form the composition of the building’s massing. These planes respond to the site conditions both in plan and in section and create a slender, elegant profile as it addresses the river and the city.”

Balconies will be inset, a nice touch of class that avoids cluttering up the fa├žade of the building with hanging porches, and parking will be below grade, respecting the public river walk that will eventually be a part of the entire development scheme.  The plan is designed to achieve a LEED Silver Certification as well, another thoughtful touch.

Anyway, here is what the site looked like last week as the parking lot that has long faced the bend in the river was being removed.  With River Point underway just to the west, 2014 and 2015 should be great years to watch buildings climb along the river.

Site preparation, looking west. Note Wolf Point development across the river (JWB Photo)
Looking east, rebar & concrete separated (JWB Photo)
Looking southeast toward Franklin Street bridge (JWB Photo)

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