In Chicago, Gensler is leading Chase Tower’s first major renovation in decades

Chase Tower is well known in Chicago: The 60-story building by C.F. Murphy Associates and Perkins&Will, completed in 1969, has a ceramic wall mural in its lobby by Marc Chagall. It was built to host the First National Bank of Chicago, but was renamed Chase Tower in 2005 after JPMorgan & Chase moved in. Now, Gensler is renovating Chase Tower for its anchor tenant.

Of JPMorgan & Chase’s 14,500 employees, 7,200 work out of Chicago’s Chase Tower. Gensler, a firm with a long history focused on workplace design, has been tasked with upgrading the 20th-century building into a workplace with flexible, collaborative spaces that are adaptable and withstand the test of time.

“Gensler has been fortunate to have maintained a decades-long relationship with this iconic building; we’ve always sought to respect the significant architectural expression, intervening in thoughtful ways,” said Eric Gannon, a principal at Gensler. “Today, our work with JPMorgan Chase reflects the needs of the modern workforce, reconsidering first impressions, points of connection, and amenities – an opportunity to transcend the ordinary and rediscover the potential of the tower.”

The project marks Chase Tower’s first major renovation in nearly 20 years. The most visible changes will be a “refreshed” and interconnected plaza, lobby, and mezzanine; and an updated food hall with enhanced dining, seating, and collaboration spaces. Gensler’s renovation will also swap out the existing fleet of elevators with 55 new cars. The new fleet will have modern “destination dispatch” technology to get workers to their destinations at faster speeds. Carbon-neutral carpeting will be used across most of the renovated office floors. Cumulatively, amounting to nearly 500,000 square feet of carbon-neutral flooring.

Work floors at Chase Tower are also subject to the refresh. Technology and furniture will be updated as will the meeting rooms, common spaces, restrooms, and pantry areas. It’s not all work with no play: a new fitness center on the lobby level with a yoga/cycling room, wellness areas, prayer and meditation spaces, will augment the sea of desks and conference rooms. The top floors will have new, world-class conference and client centers with unobstructed city views.

Outside, the plaza will be redesigned as an urban respite with new seating, a covered canopy, landscaping, and an accessible pathway to Marc Chagall’s famous mosaic, Four Seasons.

To achieve LEED Certification, the upgraded tower will be equipped with automatic faucets and water-efficient plumbing fixtures. This is expected to reduce net water usage by 35 percent. The construction materials will have low-embodied carbon and low-emitting materials that minimally impact indoor air quality.

Chase Tower’s renovation marks the next major architecture project undertaken by JPMorgan & Chase. Foster + Partners collaborated with Gensler on a tower for JPMorgan & Chase at 270 Park Avenue in Manhattan, where construction is slated to finish soon.

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