January 13, 2016

A Look Inside Optima Chicago Center

Among Streeterville’s eclectic mix of high-rises, Optima Chicago Center stands out as one of the most minimal in appearance. The building looks like three glass blocks stacked on top of one another, thanks to two recessed outdoor spaces on the 10th and 32nd floors. Sheathed in black glass, Optima’s parking levels form a base on which the tower sits. 

Completed in 2013, the 42-story, 325-unit building is just east of Michigan Avenue in Streeterville and has a combination of convertible, one-bedroom, two bedroom and three-bedroom floor plans. Architect and developer David Hovey chose to forgo balconies in favor of increased square footage and communal outdoor spaces. A recessed terrace wraps around the 10th-floor fitness and aquatic center. The interior space includes a 15-meter pool, a hot tub, a steam room and sauna, and an impressive fitness center with cardio and weight training equipment. In summer, the 14-foot-tall sliding windows open the pool and hot tub to the outdoors.

The sprawling 32nd-floor residents’ club has ping pong and pool tables, lounge seating, and another spacious terrace with grills. A third outdoor space known as the “skydeck” sits atop the building and features an oversized hot tub, fire pits, outdoor TVs, and more grilling stations. All three spaces offer magnificent views of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, the Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building, and the rest of Chicago’s skyline.

The influence of 20th century modernist masters is evident throughout the building. Hovey acknowledges the influence of painter Kazimir Malevich and minimalist sculptor Donald Judd in his design. The building’s structure is evocative of Judd’s signature “stacks”—columns of cantilevered boxes arranged from floor to ceiling. Common areas have a modern aesthetic with a bold palette of red, blue, yellow, and orange. A bright red corrugated metal wall in the lobby and concrete ceilings in the residents’ lounge give these areas an industrial texture. 

On the other hand, private units at Optima have a softer, more organic look. Interiors combine bamboo hardwood floors, beechwood cabinetry, beige limestone bathroom tile, and cream-colored carpeting. Kitchens have stainless steel appliances, modern flush panel custom cabinets, granite countertops, and undermounted sinks. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer spectacular city views. Some units even have all glass corner bedrooms. Optima’s blue glass windows are mirrored from the outside, and polished aluminum blinds allow for additional privacy.

With the Mag Mile, River North, the Loop, and a Whole Foods all within walking distance, Optima offers downtown convenience at its finest. Find rental pricing, photos, and more information here

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