Downtown Chicago’s Wolf Point West Tower employs aluminum and glass railing systems, which provide occupants with both security and scenic views. The 48-story building, which is the first residential tower built at the confluence of the North, South, and Main branches of the Chicago River, has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Designed by bKL and developed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the high-rise development required 1402 m (4600 ft) of custom railing for the high-profile project. With more than 500 rental units, the building’s inset balconies feature three-dimensional horizontal bands of aluminum tubing, which provide additional texture and interest to the building’s exterior design, and spandrel glass panels to provide tenants with unobstructed views and allow for additional interior light. The railing manufacturer worked closely with the project’s design team to ensure both the aluminum and glass elements of the installation were fabricated to complement the building’s glass façade.
“The aluminum rods are an element that ties the exterior of the building together,” said Michael Karlovitz, director at bKL. “They incorporate the balconies into the main body of the building. They add some life to the exterior; the way they catch light, the way they reflect light into the glass façade.”