opening this spring, world-renowned architect rafael viñoly’s NEMA chicago will become a new icon to the chicago skyline. with this newest addition to crescent heights’ NEMA family of luxury rental residences, viñoly introduces chicago’s tallest rental residence, reaching 896 feet at 76 stories. the building’s interiors, designed by the award-winning david rockwell, channel the structural expression of chicago’s architecture and its city grid to create a contemporary, welcoming atmosphere. NEMA chicago is expressed as three square structural bays of varying stacked heights, recalling the city’s famous willis tower, and offering residents breathtaking views of lake michigan, the park, and the city’s skyline.

rafael viñoly NEMA chicago
all images courtesy of rafael viñoly architects



rafael viñoly’s NEMA chicago is both built and operated with a variety of sustainable features. these include interiors by david rockwell designed with recycled materials and landscaped outdoor spaces that minimize the urban heat island effect. other green features range from recycling and to the use of energy-saving appliances, low-energy led light fixtures, individual programmable thermostats, and highly efficient HVAC and ventilation systems. water use reduction is prioritized for both indoor and outdoor application, while nema’s green cleaning policy reduces the use of potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants. NEMA is an environmentally conscious member of its community, designed to meet the demanding LEED standards.

rafael viñoly NEMA chicago



the design of NEMA chicago was based on a composition of three structural units. these comprise a podium at the base of the building, a center massing with the tail form, and a top tier with stair-stepped rooftop terraces. all residential units throughout the building benefit from a larger than typical structural bay, a distinction that allows for floor-to-ceiling glass windows with zero sightlines and unparalleled lake and park views. the attention to scale, and the expression of the building’s large structural frame creates a rational, elegant, and iconic building.

rafael viñoly NEMA chicago



rafael viñoly comments:chicago is the birthplace of american architecture. NEMA chicago summarizes more than just a brilliant planning philosophy, it defines an attitude toward realizing the american ideal that anything is possible as long as you believe in it. this belief is embedded in every part of grant park and is reinforced by the architecture that frames it.’

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project info:


architecture: rafael viñoly architects

interior design: rockwell group

client: NEMA

location: 1200 south indiana avenue, chicago, illinois, US