If you’ve been following the growth of The Catalyst apartment building (630 West Washington Street) in the West Loop, you may have noticed something — it’s really grown quite a lot in a very short amount of time.
The Brininstool+Lynch-designed building had its ceremonial topping out today, complete with a lunchtime feast and prizes for the Lend Lease construction crew that’s making it happen.
Catalyst’s growth rate is considered remarkable in the construction trade. Lend Lease has been using flying forms—essentially, giant tables—to support each level as the concrete is poured. Darren Sloniger, one of the managing directors for the development company, Marquette Companies, says the technique is very efficient. “You get rid of all the supports that you normally have that are clogging up the work space, and you get a clear span where everyone can come in and work. And then they fly these things out and [move them up one level] in literally three and a half minutes.”
The technique has attracted the attention of other Chicagoland construction companies, which have been spotted nearby making video recordings of the process.
When completed, The Catalyst will be 19-stories tall with 230 residences. The ground-floor retail space has already been claimed by Walgreens.