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Old July 26th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #1
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Chicago Spire

Just thought I'd post this here. New supertall planned for chicago that's not a . It beats it by 8ft roofwise. What do you think of this? I love it, think it adds something new to the skyline.

Originally Posted by BVictor1
Proposed building would be nation’s tallest

July 26, 2005


Chicago's lakefront would get a contender for the title of tallest building in the United States under a developer's plan devised in partnership with Santiago Calatrava, one of the world's foremost architects.

Christopher Carley, chairman of Fordham Co., has shown city officials Calatrava's plan for the Fordham Spire, a hotel/condo tower at 346 E. North Water, where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan and across Lake Shore Drive from Navy Pier.

At 115 stories, the tower would be 1,458 feet to its roof, taller by eight feet than the roof of Sears Tower. But the Calatrava building would include a spire that, depending on structural details, would bring the building to around 2,000 feet.

'Financiers are in awe of this man'

Renderings of the Fordham Spire show a tall, slender, ethereal building whose glass-and-steel surface cascades down a central concrete core. The floor slabs are cantilevered out from the core, with each rotated about two degrees from the one below. As they rise, the floors turn 270 degrees around the core, creating an undulating effect like a gown or cloak.

"I know that Chicago is an Indian name, and I can imagine in the oldest time the Native Americans arriving at the lake and making a fire, with a tiny column of smoke going up in the air," Calatrava said. "With this simple gesture of turning one floor a little past another, you achieve this form."

Carley said the task of lining up money for the possibly $500 million building "has been the easiest in my career'' because of Calatrava, best known in the U.S. for his 2001 addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum and his planned transit hub at New York's Ground Zero. "Financiers are in awe of this man."

So are many architects. "He's a fabulous architect and structural engineer," says Chicago's Adrian Smith, a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. "I love the sculptural quality of his work, how he relates the shape of his buildings to the structural forces in them. His work is very beautiful -- not often steely or tough, but usually highly refined and soft and sensual. He's one of a kind."

Location: 346 E. North Water
Height: 1,458 feet to the roof, about 2,000 feet counting spire
Stories: 115
Square footage: 920,000
Projected cost: more than $500 million
Building use: 200-250 condos, 200-250 hotel rooms, retail and parking at the base
Possible construction start: May 2006
Possible completion: 2009
Developer: Fordham Co.
Architect: Santiago Calatrava

Political, financial hurdles

The main questions for the Carley-Calatrava team are whether the structure, planned as a mix of condominiums and hotel units, can be financed and whether it is politically realistic. It falls within the Streeterville neighborhood, a concentration of well-to-do residents increasingly irritable over new high-rises in their midst.

For Carley, meanwhile, the building would be a step up in the development game. After years of putting up multifamily housing around the Midwest, he entered the downtown market in the late 1990s and completed three major condo buildings, a low-rise at 65 E. Goethe and high-rises at 21 E. Huron and 25 E. Superior.

All catered to wealthy buyers. Sales were slower than expected and Carley had to refinance his loans. He said all his lenders have been repaid and that his relationships with them are good.

His company has a contract to buy the 2.2-acre site from affiliates of Chicago-based LR Development Co. LLC.

Carley said his confidence in completing the building "is more than [for] any project I've ever done because the city administration appreciates great architecture.'' He said he courted Calatrava for three years before finding a site suitable for the architect's artistic and engineering gifts.

Will neighbors support plan?

But in the end, the partnership was forged by "personal chemistry,'' Carley said. "I think he was impressed by my dedication to the city and my desire to do something for the city.''

While his plan could stir controversy, it plays into Mayor Daley's pronounced desire to have top-flight architects leave an imprint in Chicago. Also, Carley employs the law firm of Daley & George, whose name partner is mayoral brother Michael Daley. The firm has one of the busiest zoning practices in the city.

Carley said city planners saw the project's details in May and were impressed by the curved, flowing profile of the building. A spokeswoman for the city's Planning Department said the agency would not comment on the design until developers submit a formal zoning plan.

Carley said his plan needs a zoning variance to change the height limitation on the site. And therein lies an argument he'll use against any critics.

Current zoning, he said, lets him put up two buildings on the site in the range of 35 and 50 stories. Going taller and skinnier will minimize blockage of sunlight and views, Carley said.

In addition, he said a Calatrava building will raise property values for the neighbors.

It's not known if the residents will buy that argument. Rosalie Harris, executive director of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, said the group has been shown only a few details of the project and not enough on which to form an opinion.

The group orchestrated a campaign against a proposed 64-story tower near the landmark Fourth Presbyterian Church at Michigan and Delaware, causing the local alderman to come out against it.

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Old July 26th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #2
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I like the design, but I'm not sure whether it would suit Chicago - looks rather thin and spindly amongst the surrounding boxes.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 02:01 PM   #3
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We'll have to see. In any case it'll add something new and different but whether it'll have a positive effect or not, we can't tell. The brightness of the tower though is only because of the render (someone said it looks shite and doesn't fit because of that)
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Old July 26th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #4
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yep too thin for Chicago. Could fit amazingly well in a different city though.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 08:23 PM   #5
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Dos'nt matter that its thin,, looks absolutly stunning ,i think it would look great in Chicago
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Old July 27th, 2005, 01:19 AM   #6
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This buildings, roof will be higher than the sears tower by 8 ft, but the total height is going to be 2000ft, larger than the Sears tower by 1,454.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #7
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Calatrava is an architectural god (which I guess makes his home city of Valencia, Spain, Heaven).
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Old July 27th, 2005, 02:36 AM   #8
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I'm disappointed by the design given that it's Calatrava. I'd still like to see it though. I wish Seller would change LBT to an all residential building.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:12 AM   #9
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GB Olympic Bid Presentation
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Old July 27th, 2005, 04:24 PM   #10
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I think it looks great. Perhaps the spire is too long and the building part should be higher with a slightly smaller spire but other than that I like it alot.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #11
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I'm not too impressed with this design, looks like a birthday candle and I think Calatrava designs all suffer from a slight touch of the ridiculous
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Old July 29th, 2005, 02:19 AM   #12
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I don't know whether I like it in Chicago. The silver color certainly makes it stand out against the darker buildings. It also looks small in comparison to Sears Tower. When I look at this tower, it reminds me of the freedom tower planned for New York City.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #13
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In the last half-year there's been a few changes to the proposal, which goes for approval mid-month (approval is virtually garunteed BTW). The tower has been redesigned and heightened to 124 floors and 488m to roof. The spire, which will likely include a broadcast antenna within, like the Freedom Tower, will count as structural height. The building retains an official height of 2,000 feet or 610m.

A few renderings I made of the tower:

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Old April 7th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #14
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Is this the future Mars Mission I've read about?

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Old April 16th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #15
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boo-hiss BRITISH critics
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Old October 28th, 2006, 11:01 PM   #16
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Some guy on the highrise news forums is going crazy over seeing some red dots he's seen on the site. I think hes trying to say construction is imminent.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 12:44 AM   #17
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No, construction is not imminent. Even by the developers own time table that wouldn't take place by mid 2007 (which most think would be optomisitc). Mostly likely preliminary sampling and surveying which still would be some good news. But people are expecting some modifications to the proposal due to its price tag and reevaluation by the new development team.
After not hearing much officially over the summer there were released we will likely know soon what modifications to the project there will be.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:17 PM   #18
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Construction is getting underway.

From alsajano -

Official rendering of the final design (610m/150 floors) -

Also check out the official website -


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Old December 1st, 2007, 08:04 PM   #19
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Is the width of the circle in the ground the actual width of the building?
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Old December 1st, 2007, 09:04 PM   #20
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No, thats the core
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