Thursday, December 07, 2006

Calatrava's Latest Twist from Spire to Licorice Stick

Architect Santiago Calatrava's towering lady is packing on some pounds. Both Crain's Chicago Business and Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin have filed reports on this week's announcement of changes to The Chicago (formerly Fordham and AKA Calatrava) Spire, the megaproject taken over earlier this year by Dublin's Shelbourne Development Corporation. Read about all the changes and the challenges to getting the project built, and see the pictures here.

15 comments:

mendel said...

Holy shite!!!

That is a gigantic building. One could probably see Michigan from the top floors on a clear day.

If this type of building was inevitable, I think this location next to the lakefront and LSD is an appropriate location.

Though, if they build it with even 0.5 parking spaces per unit, that is a hell of alot of cars for those immediate streets. Hopefully, the City will allow them to do, like, 0.1 parking spaces per unit.

gd said...

Enjoyed the article. Many on the other blogs also feel it need a spire or something on the top

Anonymous said...

Way to go...now Chicago will have it's own "Twizzler Tower".

We seem to have entered a true "dark age" of architecture.

Eric Davis said...

It will be fabulous. It will re-center the skyline to the river. It makes the Sears, Hancock and Standard Oil/AON buildings look...well, a generation ago. Which they are. Plus, think of the views from the units of the building itself - the idea that the units below you, when viewed from the balconies, step down and around the spire, rather than sitting at the edge of a sheer cliff. Between this and Aqua we stand to have Actual Architecture at the highrise level in this town again.

Mr. Luxury Yacht said...

It will be fabulous. It will re-center the skyline toward the river - presently, with light-colored AON/Standard Oil closest to the middle (the color causes it to recede from view), the city is heavy on the edges but empty in the middle. Plus, think of the views of the building itself from the balconies, with the units below zigguratting around the spire instead of falling off a sheer cliff. Between this and Aqua we'll have some Actual Architecture again at the highrise scale.

Lynn Becker said...

"Luxury Yacht", of course, pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove"

MrBellyButton said...

This is good either way. Calatrava is the best!

Anonymous said...

What has happened to taste and good design? lately I see tripe like this and am ....

words cant describe what I think and feel.

this structure is ugly

Anonymous said...

Why can't they still build a spire of some kind at the top of this? I'm no architect, mind you, but it seems that it would be an easy and relatively inexpensive way of completing the architects original vision. It could be a totally decorative addition. I'd be interested in hearing more informed opinions than my own on this.

Anonymous said...

they cant put a spire at the top because the FAA currently limits building heights to 2000 feet. I believe that the building will look far more elegant in reality than it does in artists renderings. relative to the height of the structure it will still be one of the more slender highrises in the city. from most vantage points the buildings lower half will be obscured by other buildings so we will only see a very slender and elegant form rising up over the already beautiful skyline that we are used to.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous.

But couldn't they restructure it a bit to retain the spire effect?

It changed so much from the original anyway.

Again, I'm no architect, but it lost so much when it hit the breaks like a piece of ochra.

The whole new concept could have been trimmed a bit to allow for a spire and only lose a few penthouse suites.

Kerem Arig said...

Initial design kind of lost its steam with lack of spire, although the name is still associated with that! I am still hopeful that spire may be added in final version.

In my opinion, with/without a spire, this building not only will be a landmark for Chicago but also will be a milestone building for new era architecture to make Chicago more beautiful and universally more recognized.

I still cannot imagine fitting this gigantic structure to that relatively such a small lot! And also, I am trying to imagine how the traffic will be like that this building will potentially generate in relatively not in an open space and surrounded with residential condos. It will be certainly a life changer addition in the neighborhood for the number of people wanting to access this building.

Another thing amazes me is that while the developer claims to break ground by mid summer this year (it is only a few months away), so many things like building shape&height, sales efforts, etc. are still in talks and tend to change often!!!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, to me this version looks like the world's largest DILDO. Cut it (the building in half and put a spire back on it.

Mona said...

I'm hoping...really, really hoping...that the play of light, shadow, and reflection, plus the fact that it's nearly impossible to see the entire building at one time, will prove to be an improvement on this project.
I have the greatest respect for Calatrava's work, and have seen some very successful projects by his firm in other cities, but he seems to have lost his touch on this one.
His style usually combines clean, innovative structural engineering with the design sensibility of a life-long sculptor. I'm not seeing the elegance here. Still, it will be an interesting contrast to the sheer boxiness of Chicago's current skyline (which I love, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

It looks so much better with the antenna, it gives it a smoother flow. I am very dissappointed with the new Chicago skyscrapers except for trump tower.