Posts tagged with "Ferris Wheel":

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Chicago’s Navy Pier announces plans for a hotel and completes a bigger, better Ferris Wheel

For the first time in its 100-year history, Chicago’s Navy Pier may be the site of a new hotel. As part of Centennial Vision, a multiphase redevelopment of the Pier, the city and Chicago-based hotel management company First Hospitality Group, Inc. announced plans for a 200-room hotel.

Heading the preliminary design is Chicago-based KOO. Led by Jackie Koo, the office is also responsible for the Wit Hotel in the North Loop and the Inn at Lincoln Park. The new privately funded hotel is expected to cost roughly $90 million. According to a press release, financing has already been secured, and construction is expected to begin in 2017.

The preliminary design of the hotel includes five levels of hotel rooms looking out over the south side of the Pier. Located near the Pier’s east end, each room would include a balcony and bay window.

The announcement coincides with events surrounding the Pier’s 100th anniversary. The most visible of these events is the opening of the new 196-foot-tall Centennial Ferris Wheel. The new wheel replaces a smaller version, which has been moved to Branson, Missouri. Like the last wheel, the new ride will have light shows coordinated with the Pier’s regular weekly and holiday fireworks shows. At a cost of $26.5 million, the Centennial Ferris Wheel is 50 feet taller, and can hold 150 more passengers than its predecessor. Erecting the 525-ton wheel presented unique problems, which included a limit on crane size due to the parking garage below and the weight limits of the Pier. Chicago’s inclement weather also played a role, as wind speeds and temperatures on the Pier are often much more extreme than in the city.

Along with the Centennial Wheel, the Polk Bros Park and a reconfiguration of the general park and entry roadways have been completed. These projects were all part of Phase I of the Pier’s redevelopment. Also nearing full completion is the Wave Wall designed by New York–based James Corner Field Operations as part of its master plan for the entire Pier. New renderings have also been released for additions to the existing Shakespeare Theater on the Pier. These additions, designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, are expected to be complete by fall 2017.

Navy Pier is considered one of the largest tourist attractions in the Midwest, with over nine million visitors a year. The Pier was conceived as part of Daniel Burnham’s Chicago Plan. In its 100-year history it has been, among other things, a municipal pier, a naval training area, a school of architecture (now the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago), and has seen varying levels of popularity and disrepair. The now-packed 50-acre pier and this new redevelopment are playing a large role in the mayor’s goal of bringing 55 million annual tourists to Chicago by 2020. 

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First this casino in Macau built the world's first figure-eight Ferris wheel, then it built a time-lapse LEGO model of the spectacle

Calling itself Asia's entertainment capital, the nearing completion casino, Studio City Macau, is a $3.2 billion resort that has enough glittering amenities to claim such a title. But as we know from Las Vegas, no casino sprawling out over the size of a mini city is complete without some sort of amusement park flourish, and Studio City doesn't disappoint, boasting the world's first figure-eight Ferris wheel. Hovering 427 feet above the ground, the so-called Golden Reel is the crown jewel of the $3.2 billion complex. With a gold-tinted structural system that carries round cars on the novel journey, switching them between rings along the way, the spectacle is sure to be as pleasing from the ground as for visitors spinning up above. The Golden Reel was inspired by an idea right out of a disaster action flick. Melco Crown Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho, who is developing the project, envisioned the dramatic storyline: "not one, but two flaming asteroids crashed through the building facade in tandem to create an almost perfect figure-8 form," according to the company's press release. "The Golden Reel is a ‘world’s first’ technological innovation that reinvents the gondola-ride and Ferris wheel experience for our visitors," Lawrence Ho said in a statement. "As a new iconic landmark in Macau, the Golden Reel is a totally unique entertainment offering to Asia, and indeed the world, and we continue to deliver on our commitment to expanding the non-gaming leisure and entertainment offerings available in Macau, as a continuing strategy in supporting its evolution into a highly-diversified and world-leading leisure and tourism destination." macau-figure8-01 Besides holding title as the first figure-eight wheel, the Golden Reel will also be the highest Ferris wheel in Asia. Seventeen pods, each large enough to accommodate ten people, will traverse the amusement ride. Visitors will spend 15 minutes making the round beginning on the building's 23rd floor. The attraction is situated between what developers are calling "Art Deco meets Gotham City" hotel towers designed by the Goddard Group, designers and master planners of theme parks around the world. But if such a spectacular Ferris wheel isn't enough to satisfy your interest in the bizarre, Studio City has also built a replica of the towers and Golden Reel out of LEGOs, filmed it in time lapse, and put it online for the world to see. Take a look below.
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Navy Pier's new "Wave Wall" by nArchitects lays a modern Spanish Steps at the foot of a Ferris wheel

Navy Pier is three years into a $278 million overhaul, and the new face of Illinois' most visited tourist attraction is beginning to emerge—most recently a grand staircase titled “Wave Wall" washed over the foot of the pier's famous ferris wheel. The peninsular mall and mixed-use amusement park has many major changes still in store, courtesy of a design team led by James Corner Field Operations. But photos available on the website of designers nARCHITECTS reveal a completed portion of the project collectively called “Pierscape” that creates an outdoor amphitheater from a simple stairway. (The full design team includes dozens of consultants.) The form of the new public space, which faces south into Chicago Harbor, resembles a sweeping wave or a wending draft of wind. Treads made of composite materials domesticate the snarling steel risers. Glass beneath the steps allow passersby indoors at the Pier to glimpse activity on the steps outside. From the bottom of the stairs, the project unspools into an audience seating area for public performances, and also frames the historic Navy Pier Ferris wheel—a 196-foot tall wheel will soon replace the current one, itself a stand-in for the 264-foot icon first transported to the spot from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The designers say “Wave Wall” was inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome.
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This mall looks like it should be built in Dubai, but it's actually planned in Miami as the nation's largest

The slew of stories on the death of the American shopping mall has not deterred one real estate company from submitting plans to build the largest shopping and entertainment center in the country. The Miami Herald reported that the ambitious plan comes from the Triple 5 Group, a company that knows a thing or two about big malls—it owns and runs the Mall of America in Minnesota. Apparently not satisfied with letting that mall remain the nation's largest, the developer has unveiled designs for something even larger in Miami-Dade County. If you ignore the mall's very 1950s, Americana-sounding name, "American Dream Miami," it looks like something you might find in Dubai or a Chinese city, but, no, the 200-acre complex is planned for the good ol' U.S. of A. So, what does the American Dream include? Well, restaurants and shops, and hotels and condominiums, and mini golf, and a theme park, and a skating rink, and a Legoland, a Ferris wheel, and indoor gardens, and—get ready for these two—a sea-lion show and a "submarine lake." Oh, and in a very Dubai-move, it also has a 12-story indoor ski slope. Sorry, one more thing—there is also some sort of telescope situation poking out of what appears to be the "ski dome." For the American Dream to become a reality, the developer first needs a change in zoning to move things along. From there, things get a little tricky. Triple 5 could acquire most of its required land from a private company, but 80 acres of the site is owned by the state. And, as the Herald pointed out, the Miami-Dade school system has a lease on a big chunk of that acreage. Apparently, Triple 5 would give the school system $7 million to waive its lease and another $11 million to the state for the rest of the land. Triple 5 could also be asked to fund mass transit improvements in the area. The plan will reportedly be considered by county commissioners and the school board later this month.
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Eavesdrop> Staten Island to Get a Subway (Simulator)

The planned giant Ferris wheel in Staten Island—one of kookier of the Bloomberg-era megaprojects—is apparently still happening. Eavesdrop always thought the step-Borough deserved more than a tourist trap wheel and a giant outlet mall, but hey, apparently Amanda Burden thought differently. According to the Associated Press, New York Wheel CEO Rich Marin said the project will include a thrill ride that will “simulate a ride in a subway car.” Here’s a better idea: buy a MetroCard.
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The High Roller: A Party in the Las Vegas Sky

The Las Vegas skyline just got a lot taller. The 550-foot High Roller, set to open this spring, is the world’s highest observation wheel, towering above both the London Eye (443 feet) and the Singapore Flyer (541 feet). A project of Caesars Entertainment, the High Roller is the anchor of the new shopping and nightlife complex known as The LINQ. “As we settled on the idea of a giant wheel, we just began brainstorming: well, what does that really mean?” said Phil Hettema, whose Hettema Group designed the structure. “We looked at the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer and tried to understand those. We really talked about what we liked about those, and also about what we wanted to do differently.” The designers turned their attention to three aspects of the High Roller experience. First, “we really wanted a more all-encompassing experience,” said Hettema, “rather than just loading you onto a vehicle that has no narration.” Visitors to the High Roller begin their trip in the welcome lobby, where media screens and art punctuate the security checks. They then travel to the High Roller lounge on the second floor, where they can buy a drink to enjoy there or on the 30-minute ride. Finally, they climb to the third floor’s 280-degree theater, where they watch Vegas-themed music videos before stepping out onto the loading platform. Second, the Hettema Group wanted to appeal to a younger crowd—not the Baby Boomers targeted by many of Las Vegas’s attractions. “We wanted to help Caesars be on the cutting edge of that, appeal to a more Millennial generation [with] sort of a different tone and mindset,” explained Hettema. Hence the music videos and the mid-queue lounge. Finally, “we really wanted to have a strong design point of view,” said Hettema. The company worked with Arup to design an observation wheel based on spherical rather than oval cabins. Suspended by a single large bearing ring, each 44,000-pound cabin offers a 360-degree view of the city below. “Throughout the process our goal was how can we minimize the structure, slim things down so it became as pure of a circle as possible?” said Hettema Group’s John Kasperowicz. Hettema compares the result to pearls strung around a ring. The wheel’s off-white color serves as a canvas for 2,000 LED lights. That the High Roller went up at all is a bit of a surprise, considering the site. The designers had to work around a storm culvert and an existing monorail line and accommodate FAA regulations. Contrary to intuition, the wheel’s support legs cant in rather than out, to save space on the ground. “As in any design, with each one of those constraints, I hope we’ve been successful at turning them into an aesthetic plus,” said Hettema. For the High Roller’s designers, the experience remains as important as the structure. “For us, it’s not just placing an object in landscape. It does involve thinking about the entire experience,” said Kasperowicz. “We think of ourselves as designers who are storytellers,” agreed Hettema. “Every project we do has a story of some sort.”
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Reviving Chicago's 1893 Glory with Seven Ferris-ish Wheels

Chicago’s 1893 Ferris Wheel—the world’s first—inspired visitors at the World’s Columbian Exposition and helped establish the burgeoning city’s reputation for big dreams and hard work. Although it’s unlikely to have quite the same impact as its historical touchstone, a new proposal for seven wheels in Navy Pier’s Gateway Park could rekindle a semblance of that awe in modern day passersby. The idea is the brainchild of Hapsitus, an urban design studio based in Beirut whose name is a portmanteau of “happening” and “situation.” In sticking with the firm's philosophy of viewing the city as an organism and a “concentrated distribution of energy,” Hapsitus’ Wheels of Chicago project is composed of “Chicago moments,” including its over-arching diversity and individual regions: Southside Industry, Lakefront Playground, Downtown Business, Westside Art, and Northside Leisure. The steel sculptures would range in size from 65 feet in diameter (“business” and “art”) to 115 feet, compared to the 150-foot-wide Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. Wrapped in steel cables, the objects would turn thanks to motors in their central hubs. Though the 1893 wheel is long gone, the project’s Ferris Wheel homage is accurately descrbied by the designers as “a continuous celebration of Chicago.”
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Welcome to Staten Eye-Land: World's Tallest Ferris Wheel to Anchor New Waterfront Development

Today, thousands of tourists and New Yorkers make a loop on the Staten Island Ferry between the borough and Manhattan, but as soon as 2016, they will also be able to make a vertical loop on the world's tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring a new mixed-use project on the North Shore waterfront in St. George. Mayor Bloomberg today unveiled plans for Harbor Commons, which includes 350,000 square feet of retail space for 100 outlet mall stores, a 200-room, 120,000 square foot hotel, and a massive green-roofed parking structure, but all eyes were on the project's neighbor; the 625-foot-tall New York Wheel will offer stunning views of New York City and its Harbor to an estimated 4.5 million people per year. The Harbor Commons and New York Wheel developments flank the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the minor league Staten Island Yankees, and rise from the site of two large surface parking lots at the ferry landing. SHoP Architects with Lee Weintraub Landscape Architects designed the $230 million mixed-use outlet mall-entertainment-hotel complex at Harbor Commons to relate to the surrounding Staten Island community while still providing a monumental presence on the waterfront and ferry landing. "At SHoP, we like taking typologies traditionally considered suburban or car-dominated and turning them inside out, making them urban in their experience" said Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal at SHoP. "It's not a mall in the traditional sense." A series of undulating ribbon-like green roof structures are arrayed at Harbor Commons to define three open-air pedestrian corridors through the site. Each ribbon is punctuated by grids skylights where north-south passages connect the corridors. "It's about organizing pedestrian corridors," said Chakrabarti. "We looked to create a contemporary version of an Italian hill town. The great hill towns have interesting spines." Floor plates gradually shift as the site negotiates a 25-foot grade change. Facade treatments and materials are still being determined, but will reflect the industrial waterfront site. Chakrabarti said SHoP is exploring a signage and art program that will enliven the waterfront facade. "As day turns to night, the ribbons' presence on the waterfront is elevated as they start to glow." Chakrabarti said. Whatever the final design, however, it "needs to be respectful of the waterfront." The Ferris wheel on the north side of the ballpark will take the world's tallest title, topping the current title holder, the Singapore Flyer, by 84 feet and dwarfing other iconic wheels like the London Eye which stands just over 440 feet tall. The $250 million wheel will contain 36 football-shaped pods carrying 40 passengers each for the 38 minute ride. The NYC Economic Development Corporation estimated that at peak season the wheel will spin up to 30,000 visitors a day. The New York Wheel's resemblance to its London equivalent is more than passing; it's being designed by Starneth, whose team includes members who built the Eye. "This wheel is a game changer for Staten Island," said Staten Island borough president James Molinaro in a statement. "Going forward, Staten Island will be known as the Borough with the largest wheel in the world." Surrounding the New York Wheel, a 100,000 square foot commercial terminal building designed by Perkins Eastman continues the theme of green ribbon roofs, adding an array of wind turbines and solar panels to generate sustainable energy for what's envisioned as a LEED Platinum facility. The structure will include restaurant, retail, theater, and exhibition space over a nearly 1,000-car parking structure. New York Wheel and BFC Partners will sign a 99-year lease for the two development sites, paying the city $2.5 million per year, and plan to begin construction in early 2014 with an anticipated opening in 2016.
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Seattle's New Ferris Wheel Ready at Pier 57

“I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel,” E.B. White once remarked. After the dismantling of the Seattle Center Fun Forest and Ferris wheel—closed in January 2011 to make way for the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum—Seattle will finally get its Ferris wheel back. The nearly-completed privately-funded wheel at Pier 57, with 8 supportive legs and 21 spokes, will weigh 280,330 pounds. Built by Chance Morgan Rides Manufacturing Inc. and funded by developer Hal Griffith, the 42 six-person gondolas will bring riders 175 feet into the air, with views of the Olympic Mountains to the west, Mount Rainier to the south, and the Cascade Mountains and the city to the east. Open year-round, the cars will be enclosed, heated, and air-conditioned, so no need to worry about the Seattle drizzle. The widest part of the wheel is positioned perpendicular to the Elliot Bay waterfront to maximize views while preserving site lines for neighboring buildings. At 175 feet, the Seattle Ferris wheel is a reserved interpretation: the original Ferris wheel, built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, was 264-feet-tall. Today, the world's largest Ferris wheel is the Singapore Flyer, built in 2008, which stands at 541 feet. The Seattle Ferris wheel will open by the Fourth of July.