Millennium Station

An extraordinarily difficult space, Millennium Station was hemmed in by rail lines beneath and the street above. SOM utilized design, engineering, and lighting expertise to transform one of Chicago’s darkest architectural black holes into a cloud-like space that has won awards and the daily thanks of metro commuters.

Infusing the station with a sense of motion and spaciousness was a guiding factor. To deal with low and uneven ceilings, SOM conceived a system of undulating, illuminated panels made of perforated stainless steel with a satin finish. The floor, made of blue and white terrazzo, is inlaid with graceful white lines that subtly direct passengers to train platforms.

Other improvements include new glassy storefronts and new ticket booths with bands of LED above and below the counters. By integrating light, color, and high-quality finishes into the once-dilapidated station, SOM converted an eyesore into a vibrant and efficient space.