Elgin Laundry Building

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  • rendering G24994
  • Elgin_9_2012_010090  419 Elgin_9_2012_010090 419
  • Elgin_9_2012_010099  428 Elgin_9_2012_010099 428
  • interior view of structure Elgin_9_2012_010067 396 1
  • making the roof - precast panels allowed lightweight scaffolding Elgin Laundry making the roof
  • working drawing show the accordion-type profile for the building Building elevation
  • truss details Leaf AIC 7.25.12 335 smll

The Laundry Building at Elgin was a simple longspan rectangular building which featured an inventive structural solution. Designed while Marina City was under construction, its geometry is orthogonal, with a pitched roof structure, glazed at both ends. The overall shape is peculiarly similar to Norman Fosters' Sainsbury Center, done some years later.

The structure features concrete cast-in-place columns on the sides and trusses spanning about 100' clear across the building. The trusses are in concrete, tilted 45º to form an accordion-type structure, with thin beams (top and bottom chords of the trusses) for minimal depth, braced by inset precast panels. The use of concrete, while unconventional, simplified logistics, allowed onsite construction, and addressed the complicated thermal issues of a very warm laundry facility.

Drawings for this inventive and unusual solution date from 1962, with working drawings in 1963, and occupancy in 1964.

At present the laundry building is used for storage only.