Millennium Station

Millennium Station
Millenium Park Chicago
Millennium Station
  • Client Metra
  • Expertise Transportation
  • Region North America
  • Location Chicago, Illinois, United States

Innovative engineering and a creative use of lighting and reflectivity transform the formerly dingy Randolph Street Terminal into a spacious and modern commuter rail station in downtown Chicago.

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2005
  • Design Finish Year 2003
  • Size Building Gross Area: 49,950 square feet
  • Awards
    2006, Interior Architecture Award: Citation of Merit, AIA – Chicago Chapter 2006, Patron of the Year, Chicago Architecture Foundation 2006, Best Renovation Award, Friends of Downtown
  • Collaborators
    Carol Naughton + Associates, Inc. Teng & Associates, Inc. Shah Engineering, Inc. Schuler & Shook, Inc.
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2005
  • Design Finish Year 2003
  • Size Building Gross Area: 49,950 square feet
  • Awards
    2006, Interior Architecture Award: Citation of Merit, AIA – Chicago Chapter 2006, Patron of the Year, Chicago Architecture Foundation 2006, Best Renovation Award, Friends of Downtown
  • Collaborators
    Carol Naughton + Associates, Inc. Teng & Associates, Inc. Shah Engineering, Inc. Schuler & Shook, Inc.

Tackling a tough site

Opened in 1856 and renovated in the mid-1980s, the Chicago transit station previously known as Randolph Street Terminal was an extraordinarily difficult space. Hemmed in by rail lines beneath and the street above, the station’s layout posed significant challenges. SOM utilized design, engineering, and lighting expertise to transform a critical but unpleasant downtown station into one that is easy and inspiring to use.

The unflattering adjectives used to describe the station were all ‘D’-words – dark, dingy, dank, depressing. But now, after an intelligently conceived, precisely executed renovation designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Randolph Street Station has been transformed into a bright, open and visually dynamic gateway for thousands of Metra Electric and South Shore Line commuters.


An elegant transformation

Infusing the station with a sense of motion and spaciousness was a guiding principle. To deal with low and uneven ceilings, SOM conceived a system of undulating, illuminated panels made of perforated stainless steel with a satin finish. The floor, made of blue and white terrazzo, is inlaid with graceful white lines that subtly direct passengers to train platforms. Other improvements include new glassy storefronts and new ticket booths with bands of LED above and below the counters.

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