Pelli Clarke & Partners completes Salesforce Tower Chicago as part of riverfront master plan
Jason O’Rear

Pelli Clarke & Partners completes Salesforce Tower Chicago as part of riverfront master plan

11 Jun 2024  •  ニュース  •  By Gerard McGuickin

Pelli Clarke & Partners has completed the Salesforce Tower Chicago, a LEED Gold-certified office tower that is the final addition to Wolf Point, a 14-year mixed-use riverfront master plan. In the city that built the world’s first skyscraper (albeit just ten stories), the 57-story Salesforce Tower is located in the heart of Chicago’s downtown. The tower sits at the place where three branches of the Chicago River converge and anchors the prominent Wolf Point master plan development.

photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear
photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear
photo_credit Pelli Clarke & Partners
Pelli Clarke & Partners

Wolf Point was once the home of Chicago’s first commercial settlements in the early 19th century. The land was later all but abandoned (it had not been built on since the 1940s) — however, with its prime real estate location, it was ripe for development. The area has been the cornerstone of a multi-decade riverfront transformation. As part of a master plan designed by Pelli Clarke & Partners and developed by Hines (a global real estate investment manager), the completion of Salesforce Tower Chicago concludes Wolf Point’s third and final phase. The mixed-use development spans four acres (1.6 hectares), including a 2.3 acre (0.93 hectare) public park planted with native trees, flowers, and grass, and two residential buildings with a total of 1,207 apartments. The new Salesforce Tower sits adjacent to the historic art deco-style Merchandise Mart and Chicago Riverwalk and is the Chicago headquarters of Salesforce, a cloud-based customer relationship management company and its 2,000 local employees.

photo_credit Pelli Clarke & Partners
Pelli Clarke & Partners
photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear
photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear

“The tower is Salesforce’s first custom-designed, unified workspace in the city, created to gather staff under one roof,” says Pelli Clarke & Partners. “Its 1.2 million square feet [111,484 square meters] of office space is now 97 percent occupied by Salesforce and law firm Kirkland & Ellis.” Rising to a height of 57 stories — 852 feet (260 meters) — the tower’s slender profile is characterized by a stepped form with a series of gently tapered setbacks. The building’s north–south orientation and rectangular massing ensures a visual connection with the adjacent Wolf Point East residential tower as well as helping to protect views for surrounding buildings. “The building’s floor plates are configured to enhance river and skyline views as well as workplace flexibility. The floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall maximizes natural light inside, while effectively blocking 15 percent of ultraviolet light,” says Pelli Clarke & Partners. Reflecting the Chicago River, the glass facade adds to a sense of lightness and transparency.

photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear
photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear

The public park at Salesforce Tower Chicago’s base slopes towards the newly expanded Riverwalk. The area offers both staff and visitors an array of retail and dining options alongside public art and places to gather. Seating for more than 200 people is ideal for working outdoors. A four-story underground parking garage beneath the tower provides 2,000 bike spaces and kayak storage. The tower’s top two floors are known as “‘Ohana Floors” — ‘Ohana is a Hawaiian term meaning family. Used by Salesforce employees during the day, they are offered at no cost to local non-profit and community groups for use in the evenings and at weekends. In the tower’s lobby, five digital art displays and detailed wave-like millwork provide a creative reference to the Chicago River. 

photo_credit Pelli Clarke & Partners
Pelli Clarke & Partners
photo_credit Pelli Clarke & Partners
Pelli Clarke & Partners
photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear
photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear

The use of responsibly and locally sourced materials, including wood veneer from certified forests and stone, contributes to Salesforce Tower Chicago’s overall lower environmental impact. The LEED Gold-certified tower was built with 27 percent less concrete and 9 percent less steel when compared to similar buildings in its class, resulting in a 19 percent reduction in total carbon emissions. The tower represents the first project by structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates and Hines to be designed and constructed using the “Embodied Carbon Reduction Guide”. 

photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear
photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear

Salesforce Tower Chicago was awarded first place for High-Rise Structures in the 2023 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards by the American Concrete Institute: “The concrete used in the construction of the tower was specifically designed for durability and longevity. This was the first high-rise on the Chicago skyline to fully use Portland-limestone cement. The use of this type of concrete reduces environmental impacts.”

“It is the first building in Chicago in compliance with the requirements for the Environmental Product Declarations, a comprehensive analysis of the life cycle of the building, offering transparency around sustainability credentials,” says Pelli Clarke & Partners.

photo_credit Jason O’Rear
Jason O’Rear