Posts tagged with "South Loop":

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Chicago’s new Viñoly tower breaks ground and gets new name

Construction has begun on the 76-story Rafael Viñoly-designed tower in Chicago’s South Loop Neighborhood. Located at the southern end of Grant Park, the new tower has also been given a name: One Grant Park. The new skyscraper will go a long way to completing the urban wall that lines three sides of the large park and museum campus in Chicago’s downtown. It's one of the last major portions of the Central Station master plan, which has been underway for over 25 years. Currently approved as a single tower, plans have already been floated to build a second adjoining tower, which would over double the size of the complex. “To have the opportunity to bookend this remarkable open space is a responsibility that we continue to be aware of every day,” Viñoly said in a recent press release. “One Grant Park takes on the structural clarity, and the logic of purpose, that characterizes Chicago’s great high-rise building tradition.” The 829-foot-tall tower will bring 792 new apartments to the booming South Loop. The form of the tower echoes that of the iconic Willis Tower. Units will range from studios to three-bedroom apartments, with many having balconies. The large setbacks that define the building's silhouette will be used as terraces and its 17-story plinth will contain amenities including a community space, a pool, fitness center, and retail space.
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Court upholds multi-million dollar judgement against developer’s Chicago land deal

One of the current stakeholders in a 62-acre site in Chicago’s South Loop is experiencing some legal trouble. The U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a multi-million dollar judgement against General Mediterranean Holding over a deal gone bad involving the transfer of the property from its last owner. The former owner of the land, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, has served time for wire fraud, mail fraud, corrupt solicitation, and money laundering—all unrelated to the land deal. The vacant land is planned to be developed over the next 15 years into a mixed-use district that could have thousands of housing units, hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space, and be worth billions of dollars.

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Eavesdrop> Rahm Emanuel, Archi-critic

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel rattled off a few of his favorite buildings in the fair city of Chicago. Rahmbo steered clear of the supertalls—no Sears, Hancock, or Trump—and he’s apparently a thoroughly modern guy, skipping the old Water Tower, the Board of Trade or any classical designs. Nope, it’s Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 333 Wacker Drive, clad in curving, reflective green glass, that leads off his list. He also gave shouts out to Frank Gehry’s fittingly bombastic Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the industrial-turned-condo buildings of Printer’s Row in the South Loop. Makes sense that Mr. Tourism-and-Development would gravitate towards buildings with real estate stories as interesting as their designs. No qualms with his picks, but we’d like to see old, pre-sweater wearing Rahm pen a screed dropping f-bombs on his least favorite buildings. Now that’d be something.
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Rafael Viñoly unveils his 76-story homage to Chicago’s Sears Tower

On the heels of a new 86-story project by JAHN. Chicago's South Loop neighborhood is also prepping for a 76-story tower designed by Rafael Viñoly. Both projects were unveiled Tuesday and would be among the tallest buildings in the city if built. Viñoly's project, planned for 113 E. Roosevelt Rd., bears a striking resemblence to the city's most well-known skyscraper: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Willis (née Sears) Tower. According to the architect, that's no accident—the "stepping gesture" of the two towers, which would be joined at their bases, recalls the bundled tube structure of Sears, although Viñoly's version opts for silvery, reflective glass and a bevy of thick white mullions that segment the buildings' vertical faces along dozens of horizontal axes. Trees dot the tops of tubes that don't reach full height, terminating columns that form a rotating motion around the towers' central tubes. DNAinfo Chicago reports Miami-based Crescent Heights, which already owns about 5,000 units in the South Loop, is the project's developer. The eastern tower would be built first, over the next two years.
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Unveiled> JAHN project towers over Chicago’s South Loop

JAHN, the Chicago-based firm led by Helmut Jahn and Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido, has unveiled renderings of a long-rumored project in their hometown's South Loop neighborhood. At 1,030 feet, the tower would be Chicago's fifth tallest—or, as Curbed Chicago points out, sixth if Studio Gang's Wanda Vista project is completed first. The 86-story JAHN project at 1000 S. Michigan Ave., whose renderings first popped up on the online forum Skyscraper Page, has not been formally presented to the public. According to Crain's Chicago Business the tower will contain 506 units featuring a mix of condo and rental properties. In the renderings the building dwarfs an adjacent 20-story residential high-rise with massing that widens as it ascends. (Read AN's Studio Visit with JAHN here.)
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JAHN reportedly designing tower for Chicago’s South Loop

JAHN (the firm formerly known as Murphy/Jahn) has projects all over the world, but a tower project announced Thursday by Crain's Chicago Business' Dennis Rodkin is on a site in the Chicago-based firm's backyard. Though not confirmed by the architects, news of a possible JAHN project at 1000 South Michigan Avenue (now a surface parking lot) has some local design and real estate observers abuzz. Principal Helmut Jahn is known around the world for highly engineered, structurally expressive towers and complexes that prize performance over prettiness. The 75-year-old German-American has earned numerous lifetime achievement awards and other accolades, and his high profile would likely lend some “starchitect” factor to any building that his firm might deliver on the South Loop site. His protege Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido, with whom he co-runs the firm, is also sought-after for designs like Las Vegas' Veer Towers, which boast bright yellow, fritted glass facades and an unusual leaning profile. An area plan currently has a height limit of 35 stories, but Rodkin quotes Dennis McLendon, development and planning director of community group South Loop Neighbors, who thinks that won't apply in the event that the new project is confirmed:
"I don't have a lot of confidence that the current plan commission would observe a plan that was adopted back in 2004," he said. Now a surface parking lot, the site is one of only two gaps in the continuous 1.3-mile cliff wall along the west side of Michigan Avenue between Randolph Street and Roosevelt Road. In the early-2000s condo boom, it was the proposed site of a 40-story condominium tower, but developer Warren Barr was hit with a foreclosure suit and lost the property to First American Bank, which still owns it. First American representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
If it happens, the project would hardly be the firm's first in their hometown. JAHN (mostly under their prior moniker, Murphy/Jahn) designed the United Airlines terminal at O'Hare and the Ogilvie Metra station downtown, as well as the State of Illinois Center (the Thompson Center), 600 N. Fairbanks, 1 S. Wacker Dr., and others. Yet lately most of the firm's high-profile work has been abroad.
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Take a tour of Chicago’s newest Green Line stop, Cermak-McCormick Place, designed by Ross Barney Architects

Chicago commuters transiting through the South Loop and Chinatown have had a new stop since early this year, when the Chicago Transit Authority opened its newest train stop: Cermak-McCormick Place. Designed by Ross Barney Architects (the team behind West Loop's lauded Morgan stop for the Pink and Green Lines), the new station employs brawny steel trusses and sleek, curved surfaces. Via the architects, here's a gallery of images from the new station, shot by Kate Joyce Studios:
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Cermak is Next: New CTA Stop Primes Chicago’s South Loop

The CTA is abuzz with new projects these days, having successfully avoided fare hikes during dire budget negotiations this summer. Now another $65 million investment will deliver the new Cermak / McCormick Place El Station Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised early this year, as well as new library, school and three-story building rehab for the South Loop. New renderings presented by the Mayor on Friday show the new Green Line stop, which will be designed by Carol Ross Barney, principal at Ross Barney Architects. It’s a sleek tunnel shape, reminiscent of Rem Koolhaas’ IIT Green Line stop. Coming from the same architect who designed CTA’s last major addition, the celebrated (if pricey) Morgan station, news on this improvement to El service was highly anticipated by residents in Motor Row and South Loop. The neighborhoods rode higher and fell further than most in the city over the past decades; now a resurgence of downtown residents may have primed the pump for a broader renaissance just south of the Loop. If it does, new CTA service should soon make it easier to check out.
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Another Close-Up for Studio Gang

Last Friday’s ribbon-cutting festivities marking the opening of Columbia College’s 35,500 square foot,  $21 million Media Production Center (MPC) in Chicago’s South Loop featured retired anchorman/documentarian/pitchman Bill Kurtis emceeing a ceremony in the building’s large soundstage that included remarks by Mayor Richard Daley and a slew of college officials and donors, all extolling the virtues of the first new building in the school’s 120 years of operation. Columbia claims to have the nation’s largest film and video school, and refers to the MPC as a “state of the art facility designed to foster cross disciplinary collaboration among students in film, television, interactive arts and media and television.” While offering heaping doses of the boastful puffery you might expect at such an event, the speakers also seemed to spend a lot of time archly addressing an imagined audience in the year 2040. The proceedings were recorded, to be placed in a time capsule that would be opened in 30 years for the school’s sesquicentennial. Maybe that’s why a number of those listed on the agenda as presenters seemed to have been cut, including architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang who designed the engaging new building. But you’d have to be comatose to overlook the designer’s role in making this an occasion that merited preservation for future generations. Gang says she was inspired by the aesthetics of filmmaking in conceiving the MPC design. Her approach is apparent in ways both obvious, as in the colored-panels on the exterior alluding to a standard graphic test-pattern, and subtle: the configuration of the building’s primary circulation artery as a “main street” that deliberately manipulates the viewer’s perspective as a movie camera might. “We tried to connect spaces through light, framing views in ways similar to how cinematic space is constructed,” she told AN. It’s hard to see how 2010 could get much better for Jeanne Gang. Her boldly innovative, delicately sculptural Aqua tower--completed late last year--may have had its development woes (a planned hotel operator dropped out mid-construction), but is a hugely popular success for its dynamic contribution to the skyline. Her firm’s planned renovation of Lincoln Park’s South Pond environment should be completed this summer and she says construction should begin on her long anticipated Ford Calumet Environmental Center later this year. She’s been suitably lionized in the media, as one of the New York Times T magazine’s “Nifty Fifty” people to watch, and with the journalistic equivalent of a warm hug from Paul Goldberger in a flattering New Yorker profile in January. But the modest, sincere Gang just wants you to focus on the design. She says Columbia “knew there were things important to the architecture that couldn’t be eliminated in favor of the technological functions,” which allowed for such grand gestures as the entrance lobby/gathering space, with its movie theater-style oversized stadium seating and 11 by 13 foot LED screen. It’s hard to know what audiences in 2040 will think of the recorded proceedings. It’s a likelier bet that 30 years from now, Studio Gang’s MPC design will still feel significant, even as the technology of filmmaking -- and architecture -- zooms on.