As workers continue building out the new One Bennett Park tower in the Streeterville neighborhood, developer Related Midwest is hyping the high-profile project with the release of a new video featuring lead architect Robert A.M. Stern and lead landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh. In the video, the two architects highlight some of the key design features of the building and express why they believe the 70-story tower will become a modern classic in the Chicago skyline. Also seen in the four-minute clip are some new images of how the tower will look once completed.
The 836-foot-tall tower will feature just 69 for-sale condominiums, however, it will also include 279 rental apartments. Buyers will get the best views with condo units occupying levels 41 through 66. According to Related Midwest, current prices range between $2 million for a two-bedroom condo up to $15 million for a sprawling four-bedroom space. The developer notes that apartments will start delivering later this year while the first condos will be handed over to buyers early next year.
Stern, who is known for his work on upscale limestone-clad skyscrapers in New York, sums up his philosophy in the video with a simple line: “You go backwards to go forwards.” The 78-year-old architect, a product of the modernist and postmodernist eras, also believes that the more traditional look of the tower provides a needed contrast to the dark, brooding towers built during the city’s heyday as an industrial giant. “It’s a skyscraper that fits into a broader tradition of skyscrapers,” Stern says to the camera. “I hope our building will bring a new spritz to the skyline.”
The residential tower is named after its new ground-level park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh, a landscape architect with credits on a number of high-profile projects in Chicago, including Maggie Daley Park and the 606 trail. In the video, Van Valkenburgh describes Maggie Daley Park as a “great celebration of families and kids,” and also highlights a main feature of the upcoming Bennett Park—a large bowl-shaped space designed for play.
Developers have been upping the ante over the last few years, hiring prestigious architects to put their names on new towers around downtown Chicago. Helmut Jahn and Rafael Viñoly have designed new towers for the South Loop, while Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang has solicited attention for its upcoming Vista Tower in the Lakeshore East community. César Pelli's firm has crafted two glassy projects for the once-sleepy Wolf Point and Related Midwest has teamed up with Morris Adjmi for new towers in the West Loop and with Robert A.M. Stern for their Streeterville high-rise.
While the design team speaks to the project’s architectural pedigree, Jennifer Ames, a Coldwell banker agent whose name often appears on some of the city’s priciest listings, suggests that the upscale finishes, amenities, and sheer exclusivity as a major draw for upscale buyers. “It’s not a building with hundreds of condos—it’s a little more exclusive,” Ames says. “And yes the architecture should be amazing.”