Solstice on the Park, a 26-story condo tower designed by Studio/Gang Architects is set to begin construction this coming summer (June 21st groundbreaking, anyone?)
The project has already won Chicago Plan Commission approval, and has reportedly also received a fairly warm reception from local community groups. (This is Hyde Park, after all.)
It will rise across Cornell Avenue from the 1923 Windermere House, a classic 1923 apartment hotel designed by Rapp & Rapp, the architectural firm best known for movie palaces like the Chicago and Uptown. The Windermere is owned by the Solstice's developer, Antheus Capital LLC, of New Jersey, which has become a major property owner in Hyde Park over the past few years.
The 145 unit project will sit in the center of a nearly two-acre site. The windows of its south facade will be tilted at a 71 degree angle, which, lest my more learned readers correct me [they have], is the angle of the sun at the moment of Chicago's
Load tests on Solstice's shear walls to the east and west identified areas where the concrete carried comparatively little force, allowing voids to be cut into walls. The voids get larger as the wall rises and carries less weight, that open up what would otherwise be rather monolithic forms. Antheus will be seeking LEED certification for the project, which will also pursue such niceties as recycling rainwater for lawn irrigation. (factoids courtesy of I am hydrogen's post on a November community meeting on skyscraper city.com.)
The design continues to evolve, even from renderings dating from last November. In the rendering on the project's website, a rather heavy cornice has been added to the top of the building, and the voids in the shear walls have become more numerous, varied and complex.
A full page, full color ad ran in this past Sunday's Chicago Tribune, promising "prism-like geometry . . . Like nothing that has come before." They're not just condos: they're "intelligent highrise homes." $500k and up, 1,200 to 3,500 square feet. For the moment, however, Solstice, like the Chicago Spire late last year, is only soliciting inquiries. Actual unit sales are projected to begin in March.
And if the report by the Tribune's Jeanette Alameda is correct, Solstice will be bucking, not just the current economic uncertainties, but one of the basic tenets of traditional developer's strategy: there will be no one-bedrooms.