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Old June 29th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #301
emutiny
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chi649 those photos are amazing!
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Old June 30th, 2007, 04:30 AM   #302
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Thanks a lot emutiny
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Old June 30th, 2007, 04:49 AM   #303
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June 29,2007


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Old July 14th, 2007, 05:58 AM   #304
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340 On The Park

Taken today:















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Last edited by i_am_hydrogen; July 14th, 2007 at 08:17 AM.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #305
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wow. Amazing shot..
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Old July 21st, 2007, 07:28 AM   #306
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One more shot from today:
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Old July 21st, 2007, 10:39 AM   #307
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I like it
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Old July 21st, 2007, 01:32 PM   #308
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So do I. Good height and nice colours too.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 04:53 PM   #309
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Old July 21st, 2007, 11:03 PM   #310
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A few shots of 340 On the Park, but from the inside.









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Old July 22nd, 2007, 02:47 PM   #311
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ARCHITECTURE
http://www.chicagotribune.com/entert...,2859798.story

340 on the Park a welcome breath of fresh design

By Blair Kamin | Tribune architecture critic
July 22, 2007

If you think the twisting, soon-to-be-under-construction Chicago Spire is the only skyscraper that wants to shake up Chicago's skyline, then think again. One of the best of the rest, a freshly completed, 64-story condominium tower called 340 on the Park, is Chicago's first green residential high-rise and, for now at least, its tallest all-residential building. But those superlatives would be meaningless if this tower, which was ceremonially "unveiled" Wednesday, did not make such a robust contribution to the skyline.

As its name suggests, 340 on the Park rises from a site at 340 E. Randolph Drive, just east of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois building and just north of Grant Park. It is, to date, the most visible part of the 28-acre Lakeshore East complex, where developers Jim Loewenberg and Joel Carlins may erect as many as 16 major buildings with about 5,000 residential units on what once was a nine-hole golf course. And for its architect, Martin Wolf of the Chicago firm of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, it is his most prominent commission -- a 672-foot-tall, 343-unit tower that is plainly visible to sailors on Lake Michigan, to motorists on Lake Shore Drive and to parkgoers in Grant Park.

Rises to the occasion

This is a grand stage, where an architect can either rise to the occasion or flop. Wolf, a skilled pro who left Helmut Jahn's shop 10 years ago after contributing to such masterpieces as the United Airlines Terminal at O'Hare International Airport, has done the former, designing not just an arresting form, but one that does much to uplift the city around it. His principal client on the project was Chicago-based Related Midwest, which developed the property in association with Loewenberg and Carlins.

It would be an overstatement to call this tower revolutionary, but it does make some intriguing departures from familiar archetypes for high-rise living. Take Lake Point Tower, that black, Y-shaped, suavely curving object next to Navy Pier. Its sleek glass skin looks impenetrable. You get the feeling that nobody in there ever opens up a window. In contrast, Wolf has cracked open a big part of 340's exterior. On the 25th floor, there's a two-story winter garden that comes with 14-foot-tall swinging glass doors. They let in fresh air and had to be specially engineered so Chicago's ferocious winds would not tear them apart.

The doors give onto a wide balcony with a knock-your-eyes-out view of Frank Gehry's snaking BP Bridge, the trellis of his Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Sears Tower, the skyline, you name it. On the same floor are a two-lane, 25-yard lap pool and a whirlpool with views out onto Grant Park. The tower's residents -- people in just a handful of units had moved in as of last Monday -- will thus be able to indulge themselves and feel virtuous because they live in a green building. This may make 340 the Lexus hybrid of architecture.

More important for the rest of us, Wolf has sensitively inserted this tower into the city, taking a page from the book of the great riverfront office building at 333 W. Wacker Drive and giving 340 slightly different looks, each appropriate for its context.

Toward the south, facing Grant Park, the tower is respectfully rectilinear, joining with its neighbors on Randolph to line the formal, Beaux-Arts park with a dramatic, clifflike wall. Toward the north, facing the more relaxed geometry of Lakeshore East's contemporary park, 340 breaks free with a gently curving wall. Toward the east, a sharp-edged prow of glass joins these seemingly disparate parts, making an appropriate nautical nod to the lake.

The most distinctive aspect of Wolf's design, however, is a classic case of necessity being the mother of invention. His clients wanted the vast majority of the units to have balconies. That made Wolf nervous because balconies often force architects to design banal stacks of outdoor terraces, their monotonous repetition made even more ugly by railings that look like old-fashioned jail-cell doors.

Two-layered exterior

To escape this trap, Wolf conceived a two-layered exterior that consists of an "inner building" clad in insulating, blue-green glass and an outer shell of aluminum panels painted white. Every five stories, horizontal bands of the aluminum streak across the facade, lending 340 a muscular urban scale that allows it to stand up to its neighbors, the much-taller Aon Center and the much-wider Blue Cross Blue Shield building.

Some Chicago architects have privately complained to me about this device, which Solomon Cordwell Buenz uses incessantly, saying that it is not "honest" because the horizontal bands, or spandrels, express one floor of the building's exterior and then skip the next four. "The skipped spandrel syndrome," they call it.

"If that's honesty, no thanks," Wolf replied when I passed on this complaint. "I'd rather be deceitful and artful."

But this isn't deceit. It's relaxed rationalism, a loosening up of the rigid strictures of the Second Chicago School of Architecture dominated by the structurally expressive steel and glass boxes of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. And it is, for the most part, artful, even if it divorces skin from structures.

On the handsomely composed facade facing Grant Park, for example, Wolf skillfully mixes horizontals and verticals, elements that project and those that recess. Counteracting the horizontal bands, his projecting balconies sweep up the facade like giant vertebrae. The overall effect is richly layered, carefully modulated and as human-scaled as a 64-story tower can reasonably expect to be. The tower suggests a series of neighborhoods stacked in the air. The facade is so varied that it almost seems personalized. You could easily point in the direction of a unit and say, "That's where I live."

The asymmetrically composed facade along Lakeshore East's park, which features serrated balconies carved into its glass surface, doesn't come off as well. It's more monolithic, even a bit menacing with its stacked balconies suggesting a monster's teeth. But Wolf somehow tames it, wrapping a wafer-thin layer of white aluminum around the glass like a sailboat's jib. I've witnessed this effect from the lake, where you can glimpse the narrow open space between the prow and this "jib," and it's striking. Again tweaking convention, the most distinctive feature of the skyscraper isn't on the top, but on the side.

Skyscrapers aren't just sculptures meant to be ogled from afar, of course. They're supposed to be good neighbors and 340 does well here, too.

At ground level, Wolf breaks down the tower's scale with projecting canopies and tries to enliven the concrete desert of Randolph Drive with sidewalk planters that will brim with trees and greenery. There's going to be a Starbucks in the building's western corner, which will add life to the street even if it won't be unique. Someday, the developers promise, pedestrians will be able to walk along the west side of 340 and descend to Lakeshore East's sunken park via indoor stairs, escalators and elevators that are supposed to go into a still-to-be-built supermarket along the park.

For now, we can be happy that all six levels of parking for this building are stuffed below Randolph Drive, the top layer of a triple-deck street system that traffic engineers once devised based on the hard-headed belief that cities are machines for moving cars and trucks. In a way, they've turned out to be right. So 340's condo units start on the second floor and not on the seventh or eighth floor sitting atop one of those hideous parking garage podiums like the ones in Loewenberg and Carlins' buildings in River North.

Wolf's handling of 340's interior also merits praise, starting with a lobby that forgoes the pretentious custom of outfitting a modern building with paneled, dark wood walls that scream "Ye Olde Men's Club." He wisely opts instead for a contemporary aesthetic that features a warm elm canopy sweeping over the front desk. The units themselves are well planned, wisely emphasizing views with details such as pass-through kitchens and (in most cases) floor to ceiling glass.

But the piece de resistance is the 25th floor, which adds a fresh dimension to high-rise living -- a town square/social center that prevents the skyscraper from being a series of stacked, anonymous floors, all separate from each other. Here, one can exercise or socialize, and do it in style. Wolf has designed the winter garden and its adjoining rooms not as chopped-up cubbyholes, but as a suite, with a common 20-foot ceiling. His balcony doesn't just replicate the amenity floors plopped atop a typical condo building but thrusts out into space. "It's a big eyeball out onto the world," Wolf says, which is half right.

As easy as it is to imagine people looking out from this viewing platform, it's just as easy to imagine people in Millennium Park looking up at the people looking down at them. It's not quite Romeo and Juliet but it's better than the impenetrable residential towers of the past -- expressing, not concealing, the vitality of this vertical village and subtly layering green elements into the design rather than awkwardly trumpeting them with such bells and whistles as rooftop solar panels.

This skyscraper represents a bold-conceived, well-executed way to go green. May we have more like it.

- - -

City's first green residential tower

340 on the Park is Chicago's first green residential tower, a long overdue achievement for the city, which Mayor Richard Daley wants to make the greenest in America.

The first green residential tower in the U.S., the Solaire, located in New York City's Battery Park City, opened four years ago.

340 on the Park is expected to achieve a silver rating in the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, which serves as a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for environmentally friendly design. Silver is the third highest LEED rating after platinum and gold.

Among the building's green features: tinted, insulated exterior glass that controls the amount of heat gain and heat loss; extensive plaza-level plantings and a landscaped second-floor roof that will absorb stormwater; and a water storage tank with a capacity of 11,000 gallons. The tank holds rainwater and allows it to be reused for irrigating the building's landscaping.

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Old August 23rd, 2007, 06:01 AM   #312
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August 22, 2007





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Old August 23rd, 2007, 07:44 AM   #313
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The area is looking so good. And there still more to come!
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 07:49 AM   #314
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Oh my god, this whole area is too good to be true.

It looks like Heaven (my idea of heaven )
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Old September 4th, 2007, 05:56 AM   #315
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Thinner side of 340OTP

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Old September 4th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #316
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The Tides, taken on 9/1/07:


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Old September 29th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #317
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LSE from above, photo by BartShore on flickr
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Old September 29th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #318
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fantastic aerial shot
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Old October 1st, 2007, 03:00 AM   #319
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great shots for a good building !
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Old October 4th, 2007, 07:03 AM   #320
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October 3, 2007

The Tides
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