Presidents Plaza is an architecturally dramatic twin steel and glass facade structure designed by Shaw and Associates, and built in 1980. These buildings are linked by three-level sky lit entry/atrium pavilions that allow for an abundance of natural light. These entry structures are sophisticated geometrical essays in glass and aluminum that complement the buildings’ angular forms. The expansive four-story atrium lobbies provide a bright open-air spaciousness that sets a positive tone for the rest of the property. The floors and walls are finished with polished carnelian granite, with flame cut granite at the entryways. Both lobbies have a winding staircase that leads to the lower level of each building. The lighted surface lots and parking decks can accommodate 1,810 vehicles, in addition to the underground parking for 490 vehicles. Direct access to the buildings is available from both the deck and the underground parking areas.

Professional Services

K&H provided comprehensive structural engineering services for GlenStar Development from feasibility studies through construction administration, in order to refresh and modernize the appearance of two existing mid-rise office buildings near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Klein and Hoffman worked closely with the Architect of Record, Wright Heerema Architects, to develop a creative structural system that minimized the effect of the new structures on the existing slab and foundation. The intent of the project was to create a focal point between the two office buildings that would serve as a serene environment for the occupants during breaks. Furthermore, the deck over the underground parking garage was raised a few feet to direct the traffic in a non-intrusive way to and away from the buildings.

To accommodate the additional weight on the parking deck, a scheme involving EPS foam, to lighten the gravity load, set between new upturned concrete beams was implemented while providing group planting areas. This method allowed the renovation to be constructed without strengthening the existing concrete columns and footings below. A custom designed fountain in the center of the area, formerly used as a parking lot, separates the newly elevated driveways to the buildings. The structural challenges included creating a sloped surface for the fountain as well as constructing the driveways now located four (4) feet above the structural deck which extended over an underground parking garage without adding structural elements to the framing of the garage below. The project also included repairs of the existing concrete slab, a new steel framed entry monument, and two modern semi- free standing steel canopies.

Chicago, IL

Structural Rehab / Adaptive Reuse
High Rise

Homa Ghaemi, Senior Principal