C.H. Robinson Mid-West Headquarters - 1515 West Webster

A Flowing Wave-Like  Facade

Designed to emulate the flow of water, the new C.H. Robinson Midwest Headquarters is the first landmark tenant for the Lincoln Yards revitalization.  Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, this stunning project was designed by the architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM).


The innovative design had each panel twisting with wrapped surfaces. The fin profile continuously changed shape both horizontally and vertically across, moving in and out from the building to provide a perception of long waves and reflect the movement of the river.


In order to to turn their vision for the facade into reality, SOM relied on Sobotec’s 30 years of experience in the engineering, design and fabrication of of custom architectural wall panel systems.


Collaboration was an important part of this project as each single panel in a single row was unique, from the depth of the panels to the nose. Sobotec partnered with SOM in a design-assist role, and engaged Mid-States Glass and Metal for the installation.


“It’s a simple yet elegant design,” said Jorge Rovira of SOM. “This facade has a nice rhythm and, up close, the river light glitters water reflections in the fins. The panels were challenging but, ultimately, were successfully executed through great teamwork.”

Sobotec engineered and fabricated approximately 300 different ALUCOBOND® Plus panel shapes to create the design on each of the building’s four floors. Each elevation features individually unique ALUCOBOND® Plus panels creating the angled facade and contoured look of the fins.


A custom-engineered Sobotec Hook & Pin system was developed for this project having a total of 827 finished units measuring 5 feet wide by 6 feet tall. These units were installed as a unitized system in the controlled environment of Sobotec’s facility rather than in the field. They were then shipped to the site for installation. In total, approximately 28,240 square feet of ALUCOBOND® Plus was featured on the exterior of this project in a Custom BMB Sunlight Silver Mica color.


Project:  C.H. Robinson Midwest Headquarters – 1515 West Webster

Location: Chicago, IL

Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Sobotec System & Materials: Custom Sobotec Hook & Pin System and Frame,  ALUCOBOND® Plus Metal Composite Material (MCM).


Learn more about SOM and their work on this project HERE.