Finalist: Best High-Rise Apartment Community
Nominated by: ZOM Living
Location: Chicago, Ill.
Developer: ZOM Living
Architect: bKL Architecture
General Contractor: Power Construction
Interior Designer: RD Jones & Associates
Photographer: Whitney Cox Photography
Project Website: Union West
Located two blocks from the Morgan El station and one block from the bustling commercial district of Randolph Street, the Union West project sits at a prominent location in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The 466,000-square-foot mixed-use project features 357 units ranging from studio to three-bedroom configurations, as well as 12,500 square feet of retail space. Comprising two 15-story buildings, Union West is unified by a landscaped roof terrace atop a retail and parking podium. As a connective element between the towers, the terrace provides a communal space for residents. Additionally, about half of level 15 in the east tower is devoted to shared amenities, which include a fitness room, yoga room, quiet rooms that can function as work-from-home office spaces, a game room with an open fireplace, and more. The fitness room features views to the west, with the other major spaces open to a large outdoor deck that provides views of the Loop to the east. The designers drew inspiration from the intricate masonry of the West Loop’s century-old warehouses for Union West’s exterior façades. The massing of Union West is responsive to the immediate context; the brick base and masonry frame mid-section relates to the West Loop’s industrial feel, while the top glass portion provides a light, airy impression and offers expansive views to the city. The tower’s top roof terraces look toward the city, allowing a direct communication of the project to Chicago’s downtown Loop. Union West is also Two Green Globes Certified.