Chicago header
[Photo courtesy Google Earth]

Recently team BUILD spent some time in the windy city for our Tree House project that’s moving around the nation.  We’ve since compiled our homework and we’ve got a tight list of cool spots to check out in Chicago.  Today’s post highlights some favorites (both new and old); the full roster has been compiled in an easy to reference PDF which can be downloaded here.    Tell us what you like, where we missed the mark or what’s on your list.

Signature Lounge on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Tower at 875 North Michigan Avenue designed by SOM and completed in 1970.  Hand’s down our favorite view in Chi-town. Skip the Sears tower (er, Willis Tower) and get a spectacular view and a couple of drinks for the same price.
Signature Lounge

Aqua at 430 E Waterside Drive by Studio Gang. This one kept our attention throughout the day with the varying light conditions and different perspectives.
Aqua by zoltaan
[Photo by Zoltaan]

Avec at 615 W. Randolph Street designed by James and Kutyla Architecture.
Avec exterior

Avec interior
[Photo by Doug Fogelson/DRFP]

Blackbird at 619 W. Randolph Street designed by Thomas Schlesser.
Blackbird exterior

Blackbird interior
[Photo by Doug Fogelson/DRFP]

Publican at 837 W Fulton Market designed by Thomas Schlesser.
Publican 01
[Photo by Bob Briskey]

The Art Institute of Chicago at 111 South Michigan Avenue originally designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exhibition.  The modern wing was design by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and competed in 2009.  Check out our more thorough review of this fantastic building here.
Art Institute by isaiahk
[Photo by Isaiahj]

McCormick Center at 3201 S State St on the IIT campus by OMA. This building was an all-out attack on the senses and we loved every minute of it.
McCormick Center by Cor Lem
[Photo by Cor Lems]

Cloudgate sculpture at 201 East Randolph Street, Millennium Park by Anish Kapoor. Gorgeous and wonderful.
Cloudgate by Fixed Image
[Photo by Fixed Image]

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower at 20 E Chesnut Street designed by Jean-Paul Viguier.
Sofitel by rajmtx
[Photo by rajmtx]

The Rookery Building at 209 South LaSalle Street designed by Burnham & Root in 1888 with the lobby later remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. Let’s face it, we’d be delinquent not to include at least one of the more traditional architectures that Chicago was founded on.  The Rookery is one of our favorites because it’s accessible and drop-dead gorgeous.
Rookery Building by Matt Cline
[Photo by Matt Cline

For recommendations on additional cities check out The Modern List.

t Chic