St. Regis Chicago is the third tallest building in Chicago. Credit: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune.
The tower was built by McHugh Construction. Credit: McHugh Construction.
The facade was designed with different shades of glass. Credit: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune.
The 101-storey Vista tower was designed by Studio Gang with bKL Architecture as the architect of record. Credit: Tom Harris/Studio Gang.
The St. Regis Chicago features condominiums, a 5-star hotel, restaurants, and amenity spaces. Credit: Studio Gang.

St. Regis Chicago, formerly known as Vista Tower, is a 101-storey hotel and residential skyscraper located in Chicago, Illinois, US. It is the third tallest skyscraper in the city, after Willis Tower and Trump Tower, and the first building to be designed by a woman.

Designed by Studio Gang, the project broke ground in September 2016 and was initially developed by Magellan Development Group (Magellan) and China-based Dalian Wanda Group, which owned a 90% stake through its subsidiary Wanda Hotel Development Company. Magellan, which previously held a 10% interest, acquired Wanda Hotel Development Company’s 90% interest in 2020. The estimated investment in the project is $1bn.

Site utility work had commenced in July 2016, before the ground-breaking. The residential component of the tower has been completed while the hotel is expected to open in February 2023.

The project was rebranded as St. Regis Chicago after Magellan Development Group collaborated with Marriott International’s St. Regis Hotels & Resorts to open the hotel at the tower in November 2020. An agreement was also signed with Alinea Group to serve as the culinary partner for the project. Alinea Group, however, reportedly pulled out of the project.

The project was awarded ‘Best Tall Building in the 300-399m category’ and ‘Best Tall Mixed-Use Building’ for 2022 by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

St. Regis Chicago design details

St. Regis Chicago links the Lakeshore East community to the surrounding environment, providing urban connections and enhanced access to the Chicago River.

A pedestrian connection at the ground level provides access between the Riverwalk and the nearby community park’s outdoor recreational facilities.

The Vista tower includes a trio of interlinked buildings, with the tallest building being 1,196ft high. The entire development spreads over an area of 1.9 million ft².

The tower design is based on a crystalline form called frustum, which is a geometric design in the form of a truncated pyramid. The 12-storey frustums were alternated right side up and upside down to create the sculptural flow. The structures have eight corners instead of the typical glass rectangle at the end.

The wavy exterior of the buildings provides spectacular views for residents. The exterior is clad in a glass of five shades of blue to create a wave gradient across the height of the tower.

The smaller floors in the tower are clad in slightly darker glass to allow for more heat gain. The varying gradients of the glass cladding create different responses for various climatic conditions, thereby improving the building’s environmental performance. The developers aim to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification for the project.

A projecting glass cube houses the restaurant area of the tower. It is raised on stilt-like concrete columns to enable pedestrians and customers to pass through to roads and pedestrian areas located in Lakeshore East.

Facilities at St. Regis Chicago

Floors one to 11 will house a five-star hotel, which will feature 191 rooms. The hotel will feature an all-day dining restaurant and lounge, spa and fitness facilities, an indoor pool, ballroom, meeting rooms, and a fine dining restaurant. The hotel will feature more than 7,670ft² of meeting space, including a 5,000ft² ballroom.

Located on floors 13 to 93, the residential units of the tower range from one-bedroom homes to five-bedroom penthouses and are priced between $1m and $18.5m.

The Sky 360 penthouses, rising from the 71st floor, are full-floor homes, which provide uninterrupted 360° views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.

The 83rd storey of the building consists of a Phantom floor to reduce swaying caused by high winds.

A resident-only amenity space, located on the 47th floor, features a sky terrace with amenities such as an outdoor pool, a kitchen, a private resident lounge and dining room, a fitness centre, a conference centre, a private viewing room, a golf lounge, and a kid’s activity room.

Contractors involved

McHugh Construction received a contract to serve as the general contractor for the project. It was responsible for the construction of the tower.

bKL Architecture was appointed as the architect of record for the project. Hirsch Bedner Associates Interior Design was selected as the interior designer for the hotel, while Wanda HDI was the interior designer for the residences.

AES provided surveying services for the project. Snaidero USA supplied kitchen and bath cabinetry for the residential units of the tower.

OLIN served as the landscape architect for the tower. The company collaborated with the architects and Mackie Consultants to design pedestrian and vehicular circulation patterns and to create green spaces around the buildings.

Kimley-Horn and Associates served as the traffic consultant, while Magnusson Klemencic Associates was the structural engineer for the project. Gensler was engaged as the hotel architect and RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists was appointed as the wind engineer for the building.

Mackie Consultants received a contract to perform civil engineering works while Ground Engineering Consultants (GEC) acted as the geotechnical engineer.

Curtainwall Design Consulting, an independent building envelope services provider, was appointed as the facade consultant while CD+M was contracted to serve as the lighting consultant for the hotel. Hugh Lighting Design served as the residential lighting designer.

Cini-Little, dbHMS, FSS, WT Group/Innovative Aquatic Design, Lee Herzog Consulting, Shiner Acoustics, and Simeone Deary Design Group also provided consultancy services for the project.