CS Associates, Inc.


Chicago, Illinois

The structure at 646 N. Michigan Avenue is the new flagship store for the Crate & Barrel store chain. The five story, 44,000 square foot facility is a showcase for Crate & Barrel's home furnishings and accessories.

C S Associates' role as the structural engineer was to incorporate architectural features and a complex building geometry into a buildable, cost efficient structure. The rotunda-like atrium presented a special challenge. The atrium, located at the northeast corner of the building, houses a series of escalators, which provide the main vertical circulation system. The rotunda is wrapped by a narrow curved slab, which supports the exterior wall and provides lateral bracing for the columns. The atrium is topped by a skylight and tube framing system creating a stair stepped exterior appearance.

C S Associates' services included structural planning, analysis and design, computer modeling, preparation of contract documents, specifications and field observation. The Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented Crate & Barrel with a Distinguished Building Award in 1990.

Architect: Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz and Associates, Chicago, Illinois
Developer: Crate & Barrel