Posts tagged with "Skyscrapers":

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Chicago's Willis Tower to get $500 million renovation

Plans have been revealed for a $500 million renovation of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower. The renovation will be the first since the 108-story tower was completed 43 years ago. Gensler’s Chicago office is leading the design for the project, which is being initiated by Blackstone and Equity Office. The plan for the Willis Tower includes the transformation of approximately 460,000 square feet of the building’s interior and a completely new public experience at its base. New amenities to the tower will include a fitness center, tenant lounges, and private event space. The tower’s observation floor, Skydeck Chicago on the 103rd story, will also be remodeled. The base will include more than 300,000 square feet of new retail, dining, and entertainment spaces, and 30,000-square-foot outdoor deck and garden space. Included in the base's redevelopment is a three-story glass structure atop the building's plinth, as well as a three-story subterranean winter garden. “With this historic investment the Willis Tower will remain a vibrant and modern icon that inspires both young and old for generations to come,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during the announcement of the renovation. “But more than that—today Blackstone is doubling-down on its confidence in the future we are building in the city of Chicago.” Built in 1973, the Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years. It is still the second tallest in the United States, behind New York’s One World Trade Center. To achieve its immense height, architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan envisioned the building as nine square structural tubes. As part of the renovation announcement, Equity Office committed to offering 5,000 Skydeck tickets to Chicago Public School students. Equity Office will also donate $100,000 to Project Pipeline, a program sponsored by the Illinois chapter of the National Association of Minority Architects (I-NOMA). Project Pipeline’s goal is to educate and mentor minority students through the process of becoming licensed architects. The tower was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009. Many Chicagoans still refer to the building by its original name, the Sears Tower.
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Studio Gang reveals images of new St. Louis tower

Chicago firm Studio Gang has released images of their new tower, "One Hundred" at 100 North Kingshighway Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri. Backed by developer Mac Properties, the project is Jeanne Gang's first in the city and will look over Forest Park, rising above 350 feet. “In a climate with four distinct seasons, we wanted to make it possible for residents to enjoy the different views and natural changes in light over the course of the year,” said Gang, founding principal of Studio Gang in a press release. “By experimenting with the geometry of the facade and refining the apartment layouts, we were able to make every apartment into a corner unit perched above the park and city.” One Hundred's serrated and inwardly sloping facade (repeating every four floors) creates terracing, some of which will be shared among tenants. A green roof podium will be available on the sixth floor and further greenery will be used for the collecting and storing of rainwater. Meanwhile, other amenities include parking and an assortment of retail outlets at street level. “The Central West End is an extraordinary, architecturally rich neighborhood that has evolved over many decades,” said Eli Ungar, founder of Mac Properties. “In planning a development for this exceptional site, we selected Studio Gang for their commitment to thoughtful, sustainable development and to a design that both honors the history of a community and contributes to its continued evolution.” One Hundred is due to break ground next year, with completion pinned for 2019.
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Seattle's Denny Triangle hosts a skyscraper building boom

Like other cities across the country, Seattle has been suffering from a severe lack of housing supply that, over the long term, has caused housing prices and rents to skyrocket. A slew of big-budget, mostly luxury skyscraper projects are in the works, however, and aim to bring many more units online over the coming years, hopefully easing the housing crunch. It might seem confusing to counter high housing prices with luxury developments. But given a multi-decade-long trend of under-building, millenials’ stunted entry into the housing market, and the fallout from the foreclosure crisis of 2008, the only way to make prices (which have increased 35 percent over the last five years in the rental market) go down is simply to build more of everything.

In Seattle, the city’s Denny Triangle—just beyond the city’s downtown—has been the recent site of a tectonic shift in real estate and development. Architecture firm NBBJ is currently working on a huge, 3.3 million-square-foot corporate skyscraper campus for online retailer Amazon here that will span three city blocks and include three 37-story tall towers, two mid-rise office buildings, and a series of “biospheres” containing exotic plant specimens. The development has jumpstarted other housing and mixed-use projects along Denny Way and the surrounding streets, laying the groundwork for a new mixed-use tower district. This summer, Dean Jones, principal at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty told the local NBC news affiliate, “In the next five years, Denny Way is going to feel a little bit more like Manhattan,” as he shared a video showing 26 high-rise projects currently in the pipeline.

Jones is part of the team tasked with promoting the new Nexus development, a 40-story Weber Thompson–designed condominium tower that broke ground earlier this year and will be completed in 2019. The project is the first high-rise condominium to begin construction downtown since 2012 and consists of a series of stacked boxes, each slightly off-axis from the one below. The tower’s shifting volumes conceal 383 apartments, designed in a variety of configurations, ranging from studio units to multi-bedroom dwellings. As of October, 80 percent of the units had been pre-sold.

Another development by Weber Thompson is located at 970 Denny, a 440-foot-tall mixed-use tower that aims to activate street-level areas along the Denny Way corridor with a pair of low-rise, seven-story tall office and commercial blocks flanking a mid-block tower. These smaller masses are articulated using brick cladding and large expanses of glass. They will contain 15,098 square feet of retail space, with storefronts and the apartment tower’s entrance marked by V-shaped column-supported steel canopies. The tower podium will be capped by a landscaped park, containing a freestanding pavilion structure, with a similar space located at the tower’s stepped apex. The structure will contain 461 apartment units and is being designed to LEED Silver standards. The tower itself is clad in expanses of curtain wall glass that feature operable windows. The complex is currently under construction and is set to open in 2018.

Nearby, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF Architects) are working on a two-building complex: the 11-story Tilt49 office tower and the 41-story AMLI Arc housing tower. The office building will feature 300,000 square feet of space, with the ground floor containing retail. Right next door, the $115-million AMLI Arc tower will contain 393 apartment units, a 509-stall underground parking garage, and amenity spaces on the 12th and 41st floors. The tower will offer different apartments types, including an industrially-inspired model and another unit type with more upscale, “condo-quality finishes.” The residential tower is aiming for LEED Gold certification. Construction is well underway for both buildings and is slated for completion sometime in 2017. The project is being built by Mortenson Construction’s Seattle office.

Lastly, the 41-story tall McKenzie Tower by developer Clise Properties and designed by Graphite Design Group will be located diagonally across from the new Amazon tower complex. It will feature 450 residential units and 8,000 square feet of retail. The elliptical building is designed to maximize views from within each unit, presenting a wide-set gaze over the city. The tower’s shape will also minimize the monolith’s impact on surrounding viewsheds. Like the other schemes mentioned here, the tower will rise out of a low-rise podium and will be clad in glass curtain walls.

These transformative projects portend the growing influence of the region’s technological powerhouses on the built environment. With Amazon and others adding thousands of new jobs at a steady clip, it seems like Seattle-based architects and developers will keep working like this for a long time.

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Never look at skyscrapers the same way after seeing Jai & Jai Gallery's latest exhibition

Hot On the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations, an exhibition by John Southern and his firm Urban Operations currently on view at Jai & Jai Gallery in Los Angeles, attempts to collect almost 10 years’ worth of research surrounding the spatial and functional aspects of the skyscraper into one quasi-retrospective. The exhibition aims to enliven the tower, a “spatial manifestation of the sociological and psychological experiences exacted upon the modern individual within the territory of the contemporary metropolis,” by viewing tall buildings—loosely defined and subject to the tendencies and extremes of late-stage global capitalism—as more than simple aesthetic statements. Instead, the collected works are showcased as multifaceted ruminations on not only what tall buildings have been and can be, but also as a collection of sensational projects produced as cultural artifacts in their own right, representative of the times in which they were created.

Hot On the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations by Urban Operations Jai & Jai Gallery 648 North Spring Street, Los Angeles Through January 2, 2017

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Foster + Partners reveals plans for Miami towers set to be the city's tallest

British firm Foster + Partners has submitted new plans to Miami city authorities for what—if approved—will be the tallest building south of Manhattan along the East Coast. Officially known as "The Towers" (really?) the project sees two rectilinear structures rising up from the Brickell waterfront, with the tallest of the pair reaching 1,049 feet. In compliance with density constrictions from the City of Miami’s Miami 21 zoning code, the two towers will hold 660 living units—a 16 percent decrease on the initially proposed 787. The structures' heights, however, have not been an issue with Federal Aviation Administration: The organization has already granted the project approval.

At the building's base, car parking areas have been divided in two and are encased by retail areas and more living units. This layout diverges from the standard singular "monolithic" car parking podium typical to Miami (car garages are a big deal in the city). According to the firm, this "frees up space at the ground level" and "creates an engaging public realm." Furthermore, The Towers' relationship to the site at street level sees restaurants, cafes, and art gallery spaces laid out inside a tropical garden. 56,800 square feet of the 2.5-acre scheme will be publicly accessible.

“The base of the building continues the axis of SE 12th Terrace, drawing life back to the bay. It is a civic response to the city’s enlightened vision, and will make an important contribution to Miami’s public spaces," said Norman Foster, chairman and founder of Foster + Partners. As both towers rise up, the structure has been stepped back and thinned to allow sufficient daylight to enter the vicinity around the base while preserving views out to sea. With that height in such a location, though, comes the issue of high winds. To counter this, strategic planting and adjustable louvres that can be lowered over a central plaza will act as wind breakers. To cope with extreme weather conditions, belt beam bracings (also used to support bridge apartments that span the tower floor plates) will tie the towers together ensuring they can withstand hurricanes.
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Twin 50-Story Towers Will Join Jersey City Skyline

After a nearly five-year delay, a $350 million mixed-use development in Jersey City is slated to break ground in the next few months. The Real Deal reports that the Jersey City Municipal Council and Planning Board approved plans back in December. Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects will design the two 50-story towers at 70 and 90 Columbus Street. The 1.2 million-square-foot development, a joint venture by Ironstate Development and Panepinto Properties, will consist of a 150-room hotel and approximately 1,000 rental apartments in addition to retail space.
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Wolf Point's Phase One is a Go Along the Chicago River

After a few administrative hurdles and several packed community meetings that aired downtown residents’ concerns, Chicago's Wolf Point is poised to turn perhaps the most prominently underdeveloped piece of land in Chicago into a billion-dollar suite of skyscrapers along the Chicago River. Now that they have cleared the plan commission, developers Hines Interests and Magellan Development are ready to go as soon as they get the final permits in place. Construction will start with the bKL-designed, residential west tower (493 feet tall), which is expected to take 20 months. Towers two and three designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli (950 and 750 feet tall, respectively) will go up after that. The designs of those towers—which will contain office, retail, hotel, and parking space—are not set in stone and could change as the plan rolls out over the next few years. The points of contention raised by audience members at many meetings held since the project was unveiled included some typical complaints about blocking views, as well as opposing calls for more and less parking. Located near some CTA stops, the Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed complex dialed down its parking footprint somewhat—not enough for some transit enthusiasts, and too much for others who worried what the massive development’s impact could be on this dense corner of the Chicago River.
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SOM's Roger Duffy Adds Another Skyscraper to Manhattan's 57th Street

A proposed 57-story residential tower designed by SOM's Roger Duffy at the corner of Manhattan's East 57th Street and 2nd Avenue is seeing new life after laying low through the recession. The Observer reported today that the 250 East 57th project, announced in 2006, will begin construction this year now that developer World Wide Group has filed new construction papers with the city and began clearing the site. AN previously reported how the project is a partnership with the New York City School Construction Authority to extract the air-rights value beneath the city's school properties. In this case, developers of 250 East 57th paid the Department of Education $325 million for a site lease and agreed to rebuild P.S. 59 adjacent to the tower's site, including roof terraces and a large astroturf play area. Roger Duffy told AN at the time, "A lot of school sites in New York remain underdeveloped in terms of FAR (floor-area ratio)." The school opened in September 2012. The 715-foot-tall, 270-unit tower is the latest addition to the 57th Street corridor, which has seen many new skyscraper plans unfold in recent years. To the west, Extell's One57 by Christian de Portzamparc continued construction, and the same developer recently announced that Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill will design a new 1,550-foot-tall tower near Broadway. Additionally, Cetra Ruddy is also designing a skinny skyscraper at 107 West 57th, Rafael Viñoly's supertall 432 Park tower is under construction, and Bjarke Ingels is moving forward with his plans for a pyramid-shaped tower at the Hudson River. While SOM remains the architects for the project, developers told The Observer that an updated design is in the works, which reportedly sheds the towers crisp angles for a more undulating facade. Roger Duffy previously designed the Toren Tower in Downtown Brooklyn.
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Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill's First Manhattan Skyscraper Among the City's Tallest

Extell Development made waves as when they announced their 1,004-foot-tall skyscraper One57 by Christian de Portzamparc on Midtown Manhattan's 57th Street (which made headlines most recently for crane troubles during Hurricane Sandy), but their next project a few blocks down the street looks to climb even higher. Developers announced in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday that Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture will design an 88-story, 1,550-foot-tall tower on West 57th Street just east of Broadway, an area quickly becoming known for skinny skyscraper proposals. Adrian Smith, a former design principal at SOM's Chicago office, and Gordon Gill, a former design associate at SOM, are two of the leading authorities on supertall buildings, while at SOM and at their own practice. While at SOM, Smith was the designer of the world's current tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. In more recent years, AS+GG has retrofitted Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), designed the Quintai International Tower in China, the Dancing Dragons towers for Seoul, Korea's Yongsan Business District and the Federation of Korean Industries Tower, and taken on what could be the world's next tallest tower, the kilometer-high Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia. AS+GG's new tower for Extell, their first in Manhattan, will stand 300 feet above the Empire State Building and taller than the World Trade Center excluding its antenna. It will house the city's first Nordstrom department store with a hotel and residences above. The architects were selected from a pool of top name architects including SHoP and Herzog & De Meuron, who both are already working on towers in New York City. Extell president Gary Barnett told the Journal that Seattle-based Nordstroms actually recommended AS+GG for the job. No groundbreaking has been set and financing must first be secured, but the tower could be complete as soon as 2018.
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Zaha Hadid to Design Residential Tower in Downtown Miami

New York said no, but Miami says yes. After losing out to Norman Foster to design a tower in Midtown Manhattan, Zaha Hadid has been asked to design her first skyscraper in the Western hemisphere in downtown Miami, the Miami Herald reported. No design has been released, but the new residential tower will be located at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard on the site of a BP gas station on the city's waterfront Museum Park, seen in red above. The site is part of a row of condo towers along the boulevard known as the "Biscayne Wall." Developers Gregg Covin and Louis Birdman aren't releasing details, but told the Herald the project will be officially unveiled early next year. As AN previously reported, Hadid is also building a new parking garage in Miami, which was approved for construction in November. Elsewhere in North American, Hadid is working on a dramatic house in San Diego and has been designing smaller-scale interiors and products. Also check out renderings of Hadid's Manhattan proposal here.
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World Trade Center Antenna Being Hoisted Into Place

After a 1,500-nautical-mile voyage from Canada, half of the World Trade Center's antenna has arrived in New York, and, this morning, the first segments were hoisted 104 stories—over 1,300 feet above the streets of Lower Manhattan—for installation. During AN's site tour in September, the "roots" of the antenna were clearly visible, ready to accept the structure. Building this antenna is no small effort, either. Like the scale of everything at the World Trade site, the structure is gigantic, measuring in at 408-feet tall, higher than most skyscrapers in the rest of the country. Once finished, the antenna will bring the building's overall height to 1,776 feet. There remains some contention on how to describe the antenna structure—as simply an antenna or, more poetically, a spire—and despite what seems a semantic argument, the results could have tall repercussions. The Port Authority and the Durst Organization—both who use the term spire—opted to remove an architectural cladding designed by SOM and artist Kenneth Snelson from the antenna earlier this year, trimming millions from the building's price tag. Without that sculptural finish, however, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the organization charged with ranking building heights, could opt to exclude the antenna from the overall building height, where an integrated spire would count. That would mean One World Trade won't clock in as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, or even the tallest in New York City.
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New Views at Nouvel's Tower Verre

Even after it was lopped off in 2009, Jean Nouvel's Tower Verre, aka the MoMA Tower, still remains one of New York City's tallest planned residential towers, sited adjacent to MoMA's headquarters on West 53rd Street. After fights with the neighbors, Nouvel's tower has been keeping a low profile, but Curbed (via NY YIMBY) has spotted a few new renderings of the tower at Adamson Associates Architects, the architects of record for the project. While the exterior changes are minor, fans of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's now empty American Folk Art Museum can breathe a sigh of relief, for now, as the small, bronze-clad structure remains standing in the rendered views. Also of interest are a couple new renderings of the building's interior spaces.