The South Side Soapbox

Method’s manufacturing home is a clean home—using clean energy, water and materials to create innovative household products.

Method Manufacturing Facility,
Chicago, Illinois

The first factory opening in the South Side of Chicago in nearly 30 years, Method Home: The South Side Soapbox sought to redefine the historic Pullman District community. Designed to be part of a future mixed-use development, Method envisioned employees living nearby, the building providing daylighting to maximize employees’ connection to nature and allowing visitors to look in through large windows and utilize the “front yard” as a park.

The front has colorful, welcoming awnings that serve as sun shades to help regulate heating and cooling needs. The 150,000 sf manufacturing facility was designed to epitomize Method’s commitment to the environment and community wellbeing, while still maintaining a competitive budget. The rooftop greenhouse, the largest in the world at 75,000 sf, provides fresh greens to the area, which was referred to as a “food desert.” The urban greenhouse was incorporated with the purpose of creating buildings modeled on natural processes through industrial agriculture. 

The first LEED® Platinum manufacturing facility in its industry, The South Side Soapbox relies on a refurbished on-site wind turbine for 50% of its energy supplemented by solar trees that track the sun and provide hot water to office sinks and showers. These additions signal Method’s commitment to sustainability in ways that are both symbolic and substantive.

Client

Method

Program

factory, offices, rooftop greenhouses

Area

150,000 square feet

Status

Completed 2015

Team

William McDonough + Partners, Design Architect
Summit Design + Build, LLC, Contractor
Heitman Architects Incorporated, Architect of Record
KJWW, Structural and MEP Engineers
Spaceco, Inc., Civil Engineers
Norris Design, Landscape Architects
Buro Happold, Renewable Energy Consultant
MBDC, Healthy Material Assessments
Gotham Greens, Rooftop Greenhouse Operator
Nexus, Greenhouse Manufacturer/Installer
Envision, Solar

Awards + Certifications

LEED® Platinum Certification

Steel Joist Institute’s 2017 Design Award, Industrial Category