This month brought me to the corner of State Street and 100 South to photograph a new glass office tower tucked between the City Creek Center and Harmon’s Market that rises 25 stories with a grand lobby featuring a video wall showing tantalizing films of National Park destinations. Known by its address, 95 South State, Okland Construction built the high-rise designed by national architects Skidmore Owings & Merrell (SOM). 

Photography by Scot Zimmerman

The tower soars to just under 400 feet, but it is not the tallest downtown high rise. 

Glass dominates the exterior, but entering the 28-foot-high grand lobby, the wooden ceiling radiates a natural warmth in counterpoint to the marble walls. The video displays with waterfalls and streams in motion are simply mesmerizing. When I made night shots, people were looking in from the street. 

 The lobby has conversation areas well-spaced to allow for privacy. The entrance on 100 South is street level, but as one walks the long corridor of the lobby, it becomes below the grade of hilly State Street. 

Security begins at the portals between the lobby corridor to the elevator banks. The corridor’s ceiling’s angled boards provide for recessed lighting and consistent illumination. 

The lobby corridor leads to a second entrance. This entrance is at a location that once was the site of the historic Social Hall where displays now curate its history and prominence in Salt Lake’s cultural life. The below-grade corridor crosses beneath State Street to access the City Creek Center near the food court. The other direction takes one to escalators to reach street level at Social Hall Avenue. In the second photo, the outdoor space can be seen. 

Each floor above the lobby has 11-foot ceilings, as seen in this LDS chapel on a lower floor. The chapel’s rear partition opens to create a much larger space, offering flexibility for the services. 

The fitness center spans 11,000 square feet, and the size of this space is consistent with the building’s emphasis on the well-being of the people working in the building and the standards of the International WELL Building Institute. The WELL program sets specific standards for positive human impacts on health and wellness through considerations for air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort (thermal and acoustic) and mind. 

Additionally, the building’s representatives have posted that there are plans to receive certification for a LEED Gold standard for the tower’s construction and performance. 

The 7,000-square-foot outdoor space is partially covered with an overhang featuring a wooden ceiling. Planter boxes intersperse the seating. This is on the same level and adjacent to the fitness center. 

Salt Lake City is both growing up as it matures as an urban center, and it is growing upward. The forest of cranes is a good indication of the many high rises for both living and working that will be completed soon. The City may have a very different look and feel in the next five years.

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