Cordogan Clark & Associates, teamed with Wilton Partners and Exxon Mobile, won the national design/build competition to transform all seven Illinois Tollway Oasis facilities into modern 24-hour facilities. Originally erected in the late 1950s, these familiar rest stops, placed strategically throughout the Illinois Tollway, were the subject of this national $100 million design/development competition.
The architecture of the new Over-The-Road Travel Pavilions dramatically improves the original Oases. They are designed as "gateways," a form easily recognized from a distance. A large interior space with exposed trusses updates the excitement and spatial qualities of 19th century transportation hubs. Glass facades face the expressway, giving motorists views of the activity occurring within the pavilions. Inside the oases, resting motorists are treated with abundant natural light and dramatic views of the expressway. Independent retail kiosks are distributed throughout the concourse, creating the atmosphere of a lively, open-air street market.