Unity Temple Receives AIA’s Chicago’s 2018 Distinguished Building Award

December 18, 2018

SKOKIE, IL (December 18, 2018) – On October 26, AIA Chicago held their 2018 Design Excellence Awards where the Frank Lloyd Wright Unity Temple received the Distinguished Building Award. CTLGroup is proud to be on the project team that received such a prestigious award for the restoration of this iconic building.

CTLGroup’s Principal Structural Engineer, C.P. Bock, S.E., P.E., was the project manager for CTLGroup’s scope of work on this award-winning project has been on the original CTLGroup project team since work started in 1999. Mr. Bok directed the comprehensive survey and evaluation of the building’s concrete and developed a three-year phased rehabilitation plan. His team evaluated the variety of concrete mixes in the structure by acquiring core samples to confirm and characterize the numerous types of concrete used within the structure. Based on the results of the core samples evaluation, Mr. Bok and his team designed cementitious materials that would be durable and visually match the original materials.

Mr. Bok also led a full condition survey and visual inspection of the historic structure to assist in developing the scope of repairs. The survey results were used to develop repair documents and solicit pricing for the restoration work. The CTLGroup team performed construction observation services through the repair phase, designed structural repairs as unforeseen conditions arose, and helped return this internationally famous work of architecture back to its original appearance while giving it new life.

As one of the most comprehensive and authentic restorations of a Wright building completed anywhere, the project team spent almost a year in development and research of treatment strategies for the $25 million, transformational restoration of Unity Temple. The main components of work completed on this building included a complete restoration of all interior surfaces, new code compliant MEP upgrades, the documentation, removal, restoration, and reinstallation of all art glass, the complete restoration of the concrete exterior to match the original 1970s shotcrete, and the documentation, removal, cleaning, and reinstallation of the original oak trim.

Frank Lloyd’s Unity Temple was originally completed in 1908 and is recognized as one of the world’s most important 20th-century buildings and as the architect’s greatest work. The building is one of the ten “Key Works of Modern Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright” and a National Historic Landmark.  Unity Temple was designed in 1905 and constructed between 1906 and 1908. This building has been the home for Wright’s own Unitarian Universalist congregation for more than 100 years.

The Distinguished Building Award program recognizes excellence and distinction in architecture projects. The winning candidate is chosen from a jury that looks for work that sets itself apart from the norm. The Jury takes into consideration: the concept of the project, originality of the project’s design, the detailing and execution of the design concept, the image created for the client through the project, as well as the achievement of unusual or difficult goals of the project.