Willis Tower Chicago Renewal, Skyscraper Architecture, Improvement, Architect, Date, Height, Designer
Willis Tower Building
Key Chicago High-Rise Building Renovation, Illinois, USA: Super Tall – original design by SOM, Architects
13 Feb 2017
Willis Tower Renovations
Location: Wacker Drive, Chicago, USA
Date originally built: 1973
Original Design: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – SOM
Tallest tower in north America
City officials have revealed numerous improvements for Chicago’s tallest building, 233 S. Wacker Drive – the Willis Tower.
Totaling up to $500 million, the renovations will include six floors of new retail space, an outdoor deck and a winter garden—all intended to entice tourists into the Tower, report www.dnainfo.com. Other potential new amenities include a rooftop skating rink and a 50,000 square foot digital attraction. Officials said that 5,000 Skydeck tickets will be given each year to Chicago schools. $100,000 will be donated to Project Pipeline, a program for young people.
Renderings courtesy of Blackstone Group; by Equity Office
The project, which is spearheaded by the building’s owners the Blackstone Group L.P., will begin this month and end in the summer of 2019. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the project should create 2,500 jobs.
Blackstone Group L.P. bought the tower, the world’s tallest until 1996, nearly two years ago with plans to improve its retail shops and 103rd-floor Skydeck observatory. The building defines Chicago’s skyline and hosts more than 1 million visitors annually.
“No longer will this be an inaccessible fortress without amenities that does feel a bit desolate after 5 p.m.,” said Jon Gray, Blackstone’s global head of real estate. Blackstone is footing the renovation’s entire $500 million bill, which the company said is its largest investment ever in a building.
The renovation includes 300,000 square feet of new retail including “dining and entertainment” at the base of the tower, as well as a new 30,000-square-foot outdoor deck.
3rd tallest building in world at time of writing
Floors: 110-storey office tower
Client: for Sears, Roebuck & Company
Height: 1,450 ft
Sears Tower modernization and hotel
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
image © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Sears Tower was the world’s tallest building for 25 years
Beaten in 1998 by the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
In 2004 Taipei 101 became the tallest building
The Sears Tower is however still tallest to the tips of the antennas: 1,725 ft
Sears Tower architect : Bruce Graham of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – SOM
The Property provides an exceptional unparallel West Loop location, unparalleled views from all of the property’s highly efficient floors and an unmatched prestige.
Sears Tower Antenna Facts
East Antenna 253′ tall
West Antenna 283′ tall
12′ diameter at base
On top of each antenna there is a TLD (Tuned Liquid Dampener). Its purpose is to counteract the sway of the antenna from the wind.
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Chicago Architecture Design – chronological list
Chicago Architecture Walking Tours – city walks by e-architect
Recent Chicago building designs on e-architect:
Oct 7, 2016
Design: THOSE ARCHITECTS
photo from architects
Ansarada Workspace in Chicago
Willis Tower : skyscrapers global background
Shanghai Tower Building pushes Willis Tower out of the Top 10 list for the first time since it completed in 1974.
Sears Tower designers : SOM
World Skyscrapers – Selection
Burj Dubai skyscraper, Dubai
image from Edelman
Empire State Building, New York
photo © Andrew McRae
Absolute Tower, Canada
Willis Tower photo by Skydeck Chicago
Buildings by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architects
Willis Tower photograph by Michiel van Dijk
Comments / photos for the Willis Tower Architecture page welcome
Willis Tower Building, Chicago, IL, USA
Website: Willis Tower The Skydeck
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