The Admiral at the Lake
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Perkins + Will
Dallas, Texas, USA

Window Installer:
Softer Lite Window Company
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Glazing Contractor:
Alumital Corp.
Elk Grove, Illinois, USA

General Contractor:
Lend Lease
Birmingham, Michigan, USA

Kawneer and Traco Products:

TR-8300 – Thermal Aluminum Heavy Commercial Sliding Glass Door

NX-8900 – 3-1/4" Thermal Aluminum Architectural Terrace Door

TR-700 Window Wall with
TR-710 – 4-5/8" Offset Casement Thermal Aluminum Windows (Outswing)
TR-750 – 4-5/8" Offset Projected Thermal Aluminum Windows (Project Out)
TR-780 – Offset 4-5/8" Depth Fixed Thermal Aluminum Windows

Trifab® VG (VersaGlaze®) 451T Storefront Framing (Center Glaze)

350 Medium Stile Entrances

Trifab® 450 Storefront Framing


There are more than 40 million people aged 65 or older in the United States. By 2030 that number is expected to reach 72 million (approximately 19 percent of the population)1. As the senior population increases, continuing care becomes ever more essential. For more than 150 years, The Admiral at the Lake, Chicago’s first and longest-serving not-for-profit senior living provider, has strived to provide exceptional continuing care and retirement living. To further continue and enhance its “proud tradition of quality service to older adults who are drawn to the idea of vibrant retirement living,” this past summer the new Admiral at the Lake, an affiliate of Kendal®, opened in Chicago’s admired Edgewater neighborhood.

Curbed Chicago notes that the new Admiral at the Lake, designed by Perkins + Will in Dallas, is “reminiscent of a series of fountains that gradually build upward culminating in a tall central column.” The building consists of 200 independent living units, 39 assisted living units, 17 memory support units and 36 skilled nursing units divided between the 12-story healthcare component and the 31-story independent living tower. The high-rise, built to replace the old building that was demolished in 2007, also features garden and rooftop terraces, restaurant-style dining and activities ranging from a library/resource center, arts studio and club room to a theater and fitness center with pool.

“Kawneer and Traco were brought in during initial discussions to help create a solution that would meet the design, performance and budgetary requirements of both the architect and the owner,” said David Potter, CSI, CDT and Architectural Sales Representative for Kawneer. “We were able to provide a range of storefront framing systems, entrances and windows to be used on the 628,570-square-foot facility.”

The building itself is a post-tensioned concrete structure with a mixture of punched openings, stonework and painted concrete. Mark Kane, president of Chicago-based Softer Lite Window Company, the project’s window installer, noted, “Because the building is post-tension, coordinating the fastener locations was complicated as we needed to ensure we did not penetrate any of the cables. However, throughout the process Traco and Kawneer were very involved – attending many pre-construction meetings to support us and address any issues that arose.”

Lend Lease in Birmingham, Michigan served as the general contractor for the project and Elk Grove, Illinois-based Alumital Corp., a subcontractor to Softer Lite, was the glazing contractor. During the design and construction process, Lend Lease required that on some openings the receptors and sub-sills be provided with a nail flange for the installation. Kawneer and Traco were able to accommodate this by creating custom shapes designed specifically for this project.

Use of the TR-700 Window Wall featuring 90-degree custom corners with narrow sightlines added a unique element to The Admiral at the Lake. A variety of window sizes and types were incorporated throughout the building, which included TR-700 Window Wall with TR-710 – 4-5/8" Offset Casement Thermal Aluminum Windows (Outswing), TR-750 – 4-5/8" Offset Projected Thermal Aluminum Windows (Project Out) and TR-780 – Offset 4-5/8" Depth Fixed Thermal Aluminum Windows.

Featuring a slab-to-slab application and slab edge cover, the TR-700 Window Wall delivers a sleek and streamlined appearance, helping the building fit into the footprint of the city and the neighborhood. The system can be pre-engineered and pre-glazed, eliminating much of the labor and time spent on site, which was critical as the site location did not afford the building team a great deal of room to work.

“Not only did the windows offer a tremendous performance to value ratio, but the doors offer high thermal performance and are capable of meeting ADA requirements, so we did not have to sacrifice performance or aesthetics to meet code requirements,” said Scott Baker, Sales Representative for Kawneer and Traco.

The TR-8300 – Thermal Aluminum Heavy Commercial Sliding Glass Door and NX-8900 – 3-1/4" Thermal Aluminum Architectural Terrace Door were utilized in numerous locations throughout the building. The TR-8300 offers several options for ease of operation – essential for The Admiral at the Lake – including an oversized pull handle and adjustable steel wheels for the operating panel and screen. And, to withstand heavy traffic flow, Kawneer’s 350 Medium Stile Entrances were used on the first floor of the building.

Kawneer’s Trifab® VG (VersaGlaze®) 451T framing system provided enhanced thermal performance and a range of design options that fit the project’s requirements, while the Trifab® VG (VersaGlaze®) 450 framing system was used in the garage areas.

Sandro Frioni, project manager with Alumital Corp., said, “Overall the project went very smoothly. We have worked with Kawneer for 25 years because they are well-known and reliable and both quality and range of products are excellent. The Admiral at the Lake was no exception. Working with the Kawneer and Traco team helped us get the job completed, and everyone is very pleased.”

“This project is special. Not only is The Admiral at the Lake a beautiful building in a great location, it is also a retirement community. And in working on the project, we know we are helping create a wonderful home for the senior community,” said Frioni.

1Administration on Aging,