Latest In

Architecture & Design

Renovation Conserves Industrial Legacy

Chicago hotel and club achieves historic aesthetic with modern, high-performance windows. It’s a lucid proof that renovation conserves industrial legacy.

Author:George EvansDec 04, 2023
Do you know that renovation conserves industrial legacy?
During the transition of Soho House Chicago from a 107-year-old industrial building to a 40-room hotel and private members club for the creative community, as much original material as possible was saved - including the brick, the columns, and even the lettering above the front door.
However, the Apogee Building Retrofit Team from Minneapolis determined the existing steel windows were beyond repair.
Nearly 500 new units from Apogee’s Wausau Window and Wall Systems from Wausau, Wisconsin, were installed to help maintain the historical detailing, while delivering modern-day performance.

Team Effort

The project lasted 14 months, led by Soho House’s in-house design team and founder Nick Jones, with additional support from the joint venture development team of Shapack Partners and A.J. Capital Partners, both of Chicago.
As the window erection contractor, Auburn Corp. from Orland Park, Illinois, worked closely with Wausau Window and Wall Systems.
Façade of Allis Building in Chicago, with the wooden double door flanked by columns
Façade of Allis Building in Chicago, with the wooden double door flanked by columns
Wausau’s team also was supported by the building retrofit strategy leaders at its parent company, Apogee Enterprises, Inc. from Minneapolis.
As John Bendt, vice president at Apogee Enterprises, emphasized:
Bendt added:
It doesn’t need to be a 100-year-old building to understand that carefully selecting the right window system will lead to other benefits.- John Bendt
He continued:
Most of our commercial buildings in the U.S. are at least 40 years old, and all can benefit from saving energy, reducing maintenance, lowering vacancy rates, increasing rents, and increasing the value of the building.- John Bendt
Jeffrey Shapack, president of Shapack Partners, agreed, saying:
The historic window replacement was essential to maintaining the authentic appearance of our 1900s warehouse building - both on the exterior and on the interior.- Jeffrey Shapack
Shapack added:
Apogee’s Building Retrofit Strategy Team and Wausau helped us select a window that would match the large scale and fine detail of this type of vintage property.- Jeffrey Shapack
Jim Price, Auburn’s manager of business development, noted:
There was a certain, distinctive design they were looking for in maintaining this old factory look. The large openings and replicating the classic steel windows were an important part of this.- Jim Price
Price added:
Wausau’s windows were selected to retain the look of a vintage building, while providing the latest innovations in window technology.- Jim Price

Altering Windows For Authenticity

Customized for Soho House Chicago, Wausau’s 3250i INvent Retro XLT series historical windows simulate the look of original, turn-of-the-century steel windows’ true divided lites with a narrow, exterior face in cove profiles.
The 3 7/8-in. aluminum frame pairs with custom panning and muntins applied to interior and exterior to complete the historic aesthetic.
Terry Iczkowski, Wausau’s local representative, said:
The owner was meticulous about ensuring these windows mimicked the authenticity of the old steel windows.- Terry Iczkowski
Iczkowski added:
Beyond the narrow profiles and muntins, they wanted the finish to communicate a sense of established longevity and timelessness.- Terry Iczkowski
He concluded:
Apogee’s Linetec division from Wausau, Wisconsin, helped achieve the slightly distressed appearance that the owner desired by applying a matte Statuary Bronze finish.- Terry Iczkowski
Sunlight streams inside Soho House Chicago through its large windows, with rows of long couches and hanging lights
Sunlight streams inside Soho House Chicago through its large windows, with rows of long couches and hanging lights

Metal Finishing By Linetec

Linetec blended the 70 percent PVDF, two-coat painted finish at its in-house laboratory and applied it in its factory-controlled environment to the windows’ aluminum framing, panning, and muntins.
Linetec also finished the aluminum framing for the glazing systems on Soho House Chicago’s 144-foot perimeter rooftop pool.
Provided by Wausau and installed by Auburn, the transparent pool enclosure presents unobstructed views of Chicago’s skyline.

Coordinated Labor

Working from the ground floor upward for more than a year, Auburn’s team synchronized their work with the general contractor and other specialty contractors.
Floor-by-floor, the large openings were prepared for hundreds of new windows.
There are multiple windows in each opening, with some individual window dimensions larger than 4 1/2 x 9 1/2 feet, grouped to as many as five in each bay.
On average, six people were on site to assist with the installation of these sizeable units as the renovation continued.
Along with providing large views and daylight, the windows also meet Chicago’s stringent energy codes.

INvent Retro XLT Windows

INvent Retro XLT windows feature double insulating glass and an extra-wide polyamide thermal barrier to achieve a U-factor as low as 0.39 BTU/hr. square feet Fahrenheit and a condensation resistance factor (CRF) as high as CRF Frame 60/CRF Glass 70.
These windows also are tested to meet AAMA AW-100 Architectural Performance Class ratings, including AAMA 910-10 lifecycle testing to 4,000 operating cycles and stringent requirements for:
  • air infiltration
  • water resistance
  • life-cycle testing
  • structural integrity
Available on an accelerated delivery schedule, the windows are backed with a warranty of as much as 10 years.
A poster bed with carpet underneath in a room with crystal chandelier at Soho House Chicago
A poster bed with carpet underneath in a room with crystal chandelier at Soho House Chicago
A satisfied Jim Price said:
Wausau’s windows worked so well and look so good that we’ve received several calls for other potential renovation projects.- Jim Price
Across the city on Polk Street, Auburn’s team is replacing the windows at the University of Illinois - College of Medicine’s West Tower with Wausau’s INvent Retro series.
Price said:
Wausau’s windows are a great match for the historic appearance and high thermal performance required by these buildings.- Jim Price
Jeffrey Shapack was also impressed and commented:
The windows provide the daylight, engineered performance, and attention to detail that we needed. And Apogee, Wausau, and Auburn met our schedule to ensure an on-time opening.- Jeffrey Shapack
Expect remarkable results from a collaboration among the best ones in the industry.
Jump to
George Evans

George Evans

George Anderson, an exceptional architectural designer, envisions and brings to life structures that transcend the realm of imagination. With an unwavering passion for design and an innate eye for detail, George seamlessly blends form and function, creating immersive spaces that inspire awe. Driven by a deep appreciation for the interplay of space, light, and materials, George's innovative approach redefines the possibilities of architectural design. His visionary compositions leave an indelible mark, evoking a sense of wonder and transforming the built environment. George Anderson's transformative designs and unwavering dedication continue to shape the architectural landscape, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and inspiring generations to come.
Latest Articles
Popular Articles