Office-to-lab conversion helps meet Chicago life sciences demand
This 14-story life sciences-focused workplace has helped reshape the Chicago skyline as one of the first high-rise buildings in the Fulton Market district. With community and wellness at the center of the design, West End on Fulton embodies design features that promote engagement within itself and the neighborhood.
The project opened in the spring of 2020 after the initial Covid-19 quarantines and closures were lifted. With the future of traditional office environments in question, the developer Trammell Crow Company decided to pivot, upgrading the new building’s infrastructure to accommodate laboratory spaces.
CRB’s engineering and lab design experts teamed up with ESG Architects, in conjunction with Power Construction and Trammell Crow Company, to develop creative strategies for lab exhaust pathways, increase electrical capacity, adjust supply air, add emergency generators, and provide chemical storage. As a novel typology in Chicago, the team worked closely with the city’s Department of Buildings and Fire Department to find acceptable chemical handling and storage solutions for future tenants.
While it was not specifically designed as a lab building, Fulton Labs at West End is at nearly full capacity with tenants and provides top-notch laboratory environments. West End is home to life science companies Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Talis Biomedical, Portal Innovations and more.
Additionally, the facility embraces a holistic approach to the work, play and wellness of both the business and individual employees. Situated on the western edge of the Fulton Market the building enjoys expansive skyline views. View Dynamic Glass is incorporated on every level, allowing daylight and views for building tenants while minimizing heat and glare without the need for shades. Finally, the streetscape encourages pedestrian activity and adds life to the community.
Trammell Crow Company