Location: Chicago, IL Size: 500,000 sf
SkB Architects is the collaborative design architect on Willis Tower’s new base, or podium - known as Catalog. The name is a historical nod to the Sears Roebuck Company, who developed and opened Willis Tower in 1973. SkB’s design work includes how the tower base meets the street, as well as the design of the tower’s three main entries.
Our design goal is to evolve the tower’s base to create an inviting and vibrant pedestrian experience while honoring Willis Tower’s role as a unique Chicago and American icon. They strive to create a sense of place, not just a place to work. The design allows people to get even closer to the building, creating a more intimate and approachable experience and more occupiable space, allowing for discovery in the Tower for people to experience the city and community. With its new exterior, Willis Tower will offer an inviting and vibrant pedestrian experience while honoring the building’s role as a unique Chicago and American icon. It will create a sense of place, not just a place to work, allowing people to own their experience in the Tower.
“The era when spaces for ‘work’ and ‘life’ were completely separate from one another has passed. Culturally, technologically and socially we’ve evolved to where we seek and find inspiration, collaboration and relaxation in a multitude of spaces ‐ from where we live to where we work and everywhere in between. Our design goal is to create a stronger sense of place for the Willis Tower with the street‐level experience becoming a desired destination for everyone in the community, not just for those who work in the building.” ‐ Kyle Gaffney, co‐designer and SkB co‐founder