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OK, so I'm watching an obvious re-run on "Travel" today, spouting off about the Spire on their "Greatest Superstructures" show. Funny how these shows continue to run despite recent developments that have changed the facts!

Main question here: What is to become of this property? A more modest building, or are those who still think the Spire can happen? Would love to hear some opinions and/or facts...
 

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The Blunt, the much shorter and much less inspiring version of the Spire designed by a nonstarchitect. That is what my guess would be for that site and what will eventually get built there.
 

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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VISION: Solar Future For Spire?

AECCafe

The Solar Spiral in Chicago, Illinois by ShortList_0 Design Group LLC

April 21st, 2011
by Sumit Singhal



A new approach to sustainable design for mixed use. With suspension of work on the Chicago Spire, Lakeshore Drive’s new icon, the Chicago Architectural Club postulated “the bursting of the real estate bubble has left many architects without work, and a number of building sites within the city sit incomplete or abandoned.


Solar Spiral SW Perspective
•Architects: ShortList_0 Design Group LLC
•Project: The Solar Spiral
•Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
•Designer: Bill Caplan, 2010
•Surface Area: approximately 92,000 sf
•Software used: Revit and Maya



Community Auditorium and Conference Rooms
•Program: Mixed Use solar power plant and community facility
•Space Allocation (7 levels + 3 sublevels): 35,500 sf community facility; 5,800 sf power plant
•Roof Garden and Spiral Skywalk: 41,000 sf
•Parking: 75 cars
•Primary Sustainable Design Technology: Building Integrated PV Solar Panels
•Output Capability: 1 Megawatt


Ground Floor: Street level community space

Yet there is opportunity in this collapse. Despite the apparent desperation of the moment, we detect a newfound freedom for architects to speculate, to propose, to instigate and to agitate for a different city…” ; “to explore new idioms for site development in Chicago and perhaps other urban areas – a solution not merely for this site, but one with some applicability to other sites in similar predicament.”


Entrance: Street level entrance, view corridor and parking

The Solar Spiral proposal responds to this challenge with a new architectural idiom for sustainable design, a concept for urban infill sites with vertical southern exposure – integrating substantial clean, quiet, low cost solar power generation with public or commercial mixed-use. For this particular site, more than a Megawatt of power is available from 5000+ solar panels. The Solar Spiral is both power plant and community facility with performance, conference and exhibition space. On other sites, configurations might include residential and commercial, each with its unique PV paneled skyline sculpture – mixing community, commercial and private use with non-invasive power production, a uniquely urban solution.


Roof Garden: Roof garden with public access

The Solar Spiral emerges from the existing 86ft diameter excavation with power plant control and mechanicals on the lowest sublevels. Community auditorium and conference rooms situated on Sublevel 1 open to the ground floor with an overlooking street level gallery. Exhibition, conference and reception space occupy the street level, from which the Solar Spiral wraps around the auditorium gallery.


Interior view from Roof Garden

The spiral’s south facing skin integrates frameless PV solar panels, half of the total array. Its Spiral Walk ramp offers fabulous city and lake views from glassed-in lookouts, also accessible by elevator. A street level solar field screens convenient onsite parking from the overlooking neighborhood towers. The low profile community facility, street level view corridor under Lake Shore Drive, roof garden and significant daylight portals, combine non-invasive power production with sustainable and neighbor-friendly design.

[...]







 

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My Mind Has Left My Body
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^^ Very cool. I would consider that a well worthy consolation prize.
 

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Soldier of Many Fortunes
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Interesting concept, but I can't say I like the design. To me, this would just be an expensive and poorly place power plant, whose site could be better suited for a nice high or midrise condo or office building.
 

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I commend Chicago for trying to stay modern, but I think this is freaking hideous. This isn't Beijing, as much as Daley Jr wants it to be.
 

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I commend Chicago for trying to stay modern, but I think this is freaking hideous. This isn't Beijing, as much as Daley Jr wants it to be.
Huh?

Are you talking about the crap posted above? That is just some "designer" sketching up a non existent project in attempts to receive some form of notoriety.





In regards to the future of the Spire site... since the foundation is in place and capable of a monster structure I believe its likely we will see a similarly shaped (circle plan) structure built there, however at a much more modest scale. Much like how a developer recently snatched up the Waterview for its site/completed work, the Spire will eventually see a similar fate.
 

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It is an interesting concept, and I personally enjoy the design. I think it is important for underworked architects to keep designing and thinking of alternative ideas because you never know when one of those ideas might catch, and I would much rather see something unique on this site rather than just generic condo building.
 

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That "Solar Spire" or what ever the hell that is, would be the completely idiotic to build on the Spire site for so many reasons.

First, why would condo residents want to have that view from their windows?



Second, Chicago is not Yuma Arizona with it's 4000+ hours of annual sunshine. How much power can possibly be harnessed in this building and for what purpose?:dunno:

Third, if the site does not end up in a nice TALL condo tower, or reluctantly some more of those low rise townhomes that you see in the background, then why not just a good old fashion park?


Truth be told, the failure of this project struck a nerve with me :(
 

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Vigilant Citizen
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Did you read the article ?
 

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It was aliens
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The solar idea is kind of cool, but it would be so much better if they waited for a better market and built a supertall, doesn't need to be 2000 feet, but something big there would be nice.
 

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Vigilant Citizen
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The solar idea is kind of cool, but it would be so much better if they waited for a better market and built a supertall, doesn't need to be 2000 feet, but something big there would be nice.
I read a 2011 article about it, and the Chicago firm for it said that it wasn't dead, and that Kelleher was still trying to make things work. So there is slight hope, especially since the foundation work is done, but I wouldn't get too excited...

I would start praying for Kelleher to get extremely rich, because it's a dream of his that he wants to happen eventually.

Let me know if you want the link to the article.
 

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It was aliens
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I read a 2011 article about it, and the Chicago firm for it said that it wasn't dead, and that Kelleher was still trying to make things work. So there is slight hope, especially since the foundation work is done, but I wouldn't get too excited...

I would start praying for Kelleher to get extremely rich, because it's a dream of his that he wants to happen eventually.

Let me know if you want the link to the article.
I would love it thanks :)
 

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Did you read the article ?
Which article, the one desertpunk posted on that Solar Spire? Yeah. Personally I don't think a community auditorium will be of much use at that site, even with the solar power gimmick.

If you are talking about the article you linked:


No. It's behind a pay wall. What's the gist of it?

There is absolutely no market for such a large development in downtown Chicago right now, and sales aren't getting better with existing condos either.


Downtown condo sales slide to 770 in 2011
February 17, 2012|By Mary Ellen Podmolik | Tribune reporter
The number of newly constructed condominiums sold in downtown Chicago last year was less than half that of 2010, and a lack of new construction should help whittle the still-long list of units still available for sale.

Last year, 770 condo units were sold downtown, compared with 1,682 closings in 2010 and 1,891 in 2009, according to a quarterly report released by Appraisal Research Counselors. At year's end, another 2,013 units were unsold, but only 1,632 of them were actively marketed for sale. Others had been, at least temporarily, converted to rental units
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-17/business/chi-downtown-condo-sales-slide-to-770-in-2011-20120217_1_condo-units-appraisal-research-counselors-condo-projects
 
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