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The Sun Is Rising Again on Studio Gang's Solstice on the Park

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A never built Hyde Park condo project designed by Studio Gang might still see the light of day. Originally designed in 2006, the 26 story Solstice on the Park project was to be located on the northwest corner of East 56th Street and Cornell Avenue, just across the street from Jackson Park and the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry. The unique design was commissioned by Antheus Capitol, who is also developing the nearby City Hyde Park project, another Studio Gang job that is currently rising on Lake Park Avenue.

The Hyde Park Herald announced this week that the Solstice project is still alive and will include a shift to 250 apartments or a mix of apartments and a new hotel versus the originally planned 145 condos. While Studio Gang remains in charge of the design, it will likely change with the programing switch. Meanwhile, the increase in the dwelling unit count will also require a modification to the underlying zoning. A proposal for a hotel could also be a potential flash point for neighborhood residents who a few years ago were staunchly opposed to a hotel concept on the former Doctors Hospital site just two blocks to the south on Stoney Island Avenue.

The design of Solstice was inspired by the angles of sunlight that would make contact with the building's south (park facing) facade on the summer solstice of June 21. By angling portions of the facade inward at 71 degrees, the building produces its own shading system and thus reducing energy consumption from air conditioning. The jagged facade also communicated to the outside world how many condo units were located per floor. As the pattern simplified on the way up the exterior, fewer units occupied each floor offering larger units with better views towards the top. Concrete sheer walls located on the east and west exteriors were to be hallowed out with holes which increase in size as the building rises with the structure taking on fewer loads on the higher floors. However, as the recession hit, Antheus was unable to produce enough pre-sales to move the project forward. Despite strong anticipated demand for the condos from a dearth of new for sale residential units in the Hyde Park Community, the site today remains a parking lot.
Shawn Ursini
·Hyde Park could get new hotel on 56th Street [Hyde Park Herald]
·Solstice on the Park [Studio Gang]
·Units Available at Soon to be Built Solstice on the Park [Curbed Chicago]
·15 Story City Hyde Park Ready to Rise on Harper Avenue [Curbed Chicago]