The Franklin in Chicago. Courtesy Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing Photography (left).

The Franklin Lobby Renovation



The Franklin (formerly ATT-USG) is a two-building complex location bordered by Franklin, Monroe and Adams streets in Chicago. Renovations include: the four entries, exterior storefronts, interior light sources and stone finishes on the ground floor. A hanging sculpture and custom benches were added in the atrium of the ground floor.

The entries on Monroe and Adams benefit from a complete façade replacement with a structural glass fin façade system. The fins for both entries at over 30 feet tall, make them one of the tallest fin applications in Chicago. In both entries, the glazing is secured with structural silicone and hidden dead-load supports for the face glass, creating a truly minimal aesthetic. The Monroe entry has a recessed structural glass arcade supported by a roof cantilevered from the existing structure. The Adams entry doubled in height from its pre-renovation design by removing the mezzanine floor.

Thornton Tomasetti provided both façade and structural engineering services for the renovations. Structural engineering services include: preparation of drawings for all phrases of design, permit calculations, verification of existing structure for new façade loads, reinforcements to existing structure to allow for mezzanine floor removal, reinforcements to existing atrium structure to allow for hanging sculpture, and back-up structure for the two major entries at Adams and Monroe streets.

Façade engineering services include: detail development with Krueck and Sexton, coordination with façade contractor, engineering of facade systems, verification of contractor calculations, on-site observations and review of contractor submissions.

re-clad, reclad, reclads
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Façade Materials & Systems

Glazing & Structural Glass

Glazing offers transparency that enhances a façade’s aesthetics and experience from both the interior and exterior. It provides light and a visual connection between the inside and outside. But designing with glass requires the deliberate balancing of light transmittance and the effects it has on energy performance and occupant comfort. Glazing design also requires careful consideration of material strength and safety. We provide a full range of design and engineering support for glazing and glass structures, from structural analyses to recommendations for aesthetics and energy performance. Our expertise in glazed-façade and structural-glass construction includes unitized aluminum frames, stick-built metal frames, steel cable supports, structural glass fin supports and glass stairs and balustrades.

Façade Materials & Systems


Structures whose exterior cladding is in need of replacement have two options: remove the old cladding and replace with new, or place new cladding over old. The second option eliminates the cost of deconstructing the existing façade and may provide an energy savings by creating a double-skin facade. We leverage our experience with all systems to help determine which option will work best for each project, visually and financially. We work closely with clients to make the transition as seamless as possible.