From Zero to Two Schools for Lakeshore East


GEMS Lakeshore East

Last month we broke the story about GEMS opening an international school for rich and foreign children at 350 East South Water Street in Lakeshore East.  Today we have more information about the project, thanks to some new documents filed with the city.

The most interesting piece of new information is that this school will not be one, but two buildings.  One nine-stories tall on the park, and the other 16-stories tall on East Wacker Drive.  The Wacker Drive building will be adjacent to The Coast, which is currently under construction.  It should preserve the views of at least some of The Coast residents, and a few Aqua residents who didn’t already lose their views to Coast construction.

GEMS Lakeshore EastBuilding One (350 East South Water Street):

  • Floors: Nine
  • Height: 153 feet
  • Floor space: 82,000 square feet
  • Student body: K-4

Building Two (355 East Wacker Drive)

  • Floors: 16
  • Height: 240 feet
  • Floor space: 320,000 square feet
  • Student body: 5-12
  • Parking: 105 spaces
  • Car and bus drop-off on East Lower Wacker Drive
  • Pool
  • 5,352-square-foot auditorium
  • Outdoor play yard on the 14th floor roof

Overall Project:

  • Architect: BKL Architects

Previous coverage:

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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