Originally erected in the late 1950s, these familiar rest stops, placed strategically throughout the Illinois Tollway, were the subject of a national $95 million design/development competition. Cordogan, Clark & Associates won this competition teamed with Wilton Partners and Exxon Mobile to transform the facilities into a modern 24-hour facility.
The new architecture of the new Over-The-Road Travel Pavilions resembles a gateway, a form easily recognized from a distance. A large interior space with exposed trusses takes the aesthetic and spatial qualities of 19th century transportation hubs and modernizes it for the Illinois Tollway. Glass facades face the expressway, giving motorists a view of the activity occurring within the pavilions. Inside the oasis, resting motorists are treated with abundant natural light and a new view of the expressway. Independent retail kiosks are distributed throughout the concourse, creating the atmosphere of a lively, open-air street market.
The Tollway Oases project won Midwest Construction's Best of 2005 Award of Merit for Reconstruction/Renovation.