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Lincoln Park Centre, Chicago




Located at the busy intersection of North and Clybourn Avenues on Chicago's north side, the 61,000-square-foot Lincoln Park Centre recently underwent a major transformation. When the owner Acadia Realty Trust, White Plains, N.Y., acquired the urban retail property in April 2012 for $31.5 million, it was suffering from tenant losses, including the closure of its 25,000-square-foot anchor space, Borders Books and Music. In January 2015, Acadia announced the sale of the Lincoln Park Centre to New York City-based The Georgetown Co. LLC for $64 million, more than double its purchase price.

The project required an extensive redesign of the center's light-hued brick-and-stone exterior fašade into a modern metal look that focused on creating a custom, contemporary image for Design Within Reach, which opened in July 2014. The updated image required the building's third-story curved tower to be removed, bringing the building down to the level of the parapet all the way around.

The architects used a combination of uniquely ribbed and curved aluminum composite material (ACM) wall panels, U-shaped ACM panels and rectangular zinc panels to complete the update.

The architects originally looked at corrugated steel in a ribbed material, but it couldn't be bent to form the desired curve. ACM was very workable and allowed perfectly curved panels. The ribs are fastened from behind so that the cladding looks like it's carved from a block of steel.

Architectural Panel Systems installed approximately 1,400 Alucobond curved and flat ribs shop-installed with concealed fasteners into 200 wall panel sections averaging 4 by 8 feet. They also installed 24 U-shaped 4- by 5-foot Alucobond panels installed around the first- and second-story windows on the center's anchor space. The redesign of the fašade resulted in a complete transformation of the building.

The 2015 Metal Architecture Design Award judges called the Lincoln Park Centre a remarkable transformation, completely changing the character of the urban corner with cladding. One judge said it was a remarkable feat for how simple the solution was. Another judge noted the project is a stunning example of using metal wall panels to completely change the attitude of the building and how it presents itself. Additionally, the judges praised the project's detailing for being really well executed.