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Greenway Self-Park Chicago

Chicago Parking Garage Building, Illinois design by HOK Architects, USA

Aug 13, 2010

Chicago Parking Garage

HOK Designs Chicago’s First ‘Green’ Parking Garage

‘Greenway Self-Park’ Opens in the River North Neighborhood, Featuring Wind Turbines, Rain Water Collection System and Electric Car Plug-In Stations.

CHICAGO – HOK has demonstrated that even parking garages can be environmentally progressive. The architectural design firm recently completed Greenway Self-Park, an 11-story energy-efficient parking garage located in the popular River North neighborhood. This structure, which is the first of its kind in Chicago, is currently pursuing LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Greenway Self-Park Chicago Greenway Self-Park Self-Park Chicago Chicago Parking Garage
photos : Steve Hall / HOK

“Clients across a wide range of sectors have been asking us for architectural solutions that push the sustainable envelope,” said Todd Halamka Friedman Properties gave us the opportunity to collaboratively envision what a ‘green’ parking garage could be. Our design is sustainably astute and sets a new standard for this building type.

Sustainable design initiatives for Greenway Self-Park include a cistern rain water collection system

“Parking garage designs in Chicago have had a long tradition of disguising themselves as office buildings with false façades,” added Halamka. “Our design attempts to break from that model and deliver an entirely new aesthetic.”

Greenway Self-Park Chicago Greenway Self-Park Self-Park Chicago Chicago Parking Garage
photos : Steve Hall / HOK

HOK’s team worked closely with client Friedman Properties to create a practical, yet architecturally distinctive garage. In a departure from the typical, closed-exterior-wall design (one that requires 24-hour mechanical ventilation) used on other parking garages, the team conceived a naturally ventilated exterior wall design, utilizing a glazed screen that eliminates the need for a mechanical system entirely.

This unique glazed screen is comprised of a visually layered fabric of breathable glass channels that progressively reveal the inner concrete super-structure of the building. Together, the screen and channels provide an interesting visual play from day to night, throughout the 24-hour operation of the garage. The ground-level floor of the garage is reserved for retail space.

HOK is a global architectural firm that specializes in planning, design and delivery solutions for buildings and communities. Through its collaborative network of 23 offices worldwide, the firm serves diverse clients within the corporate, commercial, public and institutional markets. HOK is committed to developing resources and expertise to help lead the world toward sustainable communities and building environments. Founded in 1955, the firm’s expertise includes architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, lighting, graphics, facilities planning and assessment and construction services.

Greenway Self-Park Chicago Greenway Self-Park Self-Park Chicago
photos : Steve Hall / HOK

Greenway Self-Park images / information from HOK


Dear E-Architect,
Re. HOK Chicago Parkering House

I was in Chicago in October and made a point of visiting this project on a windy day. There was no perceivable movement in the wind turbines. I met the local planning coordinator for the district who reported sadly that there had been no pay back in the form of wind generated power so far. As far as I know the design fault, related to the weight of the plastic spirals has not as yet been rectified. It is a pity that the heavily publicised eco friendly aspects of this scheme seem to be a failure.

Best regards,
Brian Adam, Arkitekt SAR/MSA, RIBA

Location: Chicago, IL, USA

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