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Thread: New Calatrava-designed Tower in Chicago to surpass Sears Tower

  1. #1

    Default New Calatrava-designed Tower in Chicago to surpass Sears Tower

    Carley Aims to Usurp Sears Tower ‘Tallest’ Title
    By Mark Ruda
    Last updated: July 25, 2005 11:00am

    CHICAGO-Christopher T. Carley plans to build a luxury condominium tower that he says would be the tallest skyscraper in the US. Carley’s Fordham Co. has commissioned a design by Santiago Calatrava, whose projects include the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City and Milwaukee Art Museum expansion.

    The design of the lakefront Fordham Spire, as well as details concerning location, cost and financing, will be unveiled Wednesday morning, says a spokesperson for the developer. However, the unveiling is set for the Museum of Contemporary Art at 220 E. Chicago Ave., and Carley’s condominium developments include Fordham Tower, the Pinnacle and 65 E. Goethe, all in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Carley is said to have spent three years working on bringing a Calatrava design to Chicago.

    At 110 stories and 1,454 feet, the title of the US’ tallest building belongs to Sears Tower. Would-be developers have pitched plans for record-breaking buildings Downtown. That includes Donald Trump, who ultimately scaled back his condominium and hotel building under construction at 401 N. Wabash Ave. following the destruction of the World Trade Center. Taipei 101 in Taiwan is currently considered the world’s tallest building.

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    Oh....my.....God!

  2. #2

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    That's great news for Chicago. As I have stated, Chicago is pro-development, whereas NY embodies the apogee of anti-development sentiment. Could you imagine the uproar that would ensue if this project were proposed here. People would be up-in-arms because the views would be blocked from their rent controlled apartments for which they pay 15% of market value!

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  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    C A L A T R A V A ! ! !



    C A L A T R A V A ! ! !



    C A L A T R A V A ! ! !



    C A L A T R A V A ! ! !

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    (If only I could have made that twist)

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    Holy geez! that's awesome, Chicago will have what 6 1000 footers soon?



    could this be higher than FT?

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    I am on some levels disappointed but because calatrava is designing it im happy about it. Does it mean its going to be bigger than freedom tower or just the sears?

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    It's roof height will be 1458ft, and 2000 feet with the spire---so yes, if built, it will be taller than the Freedom Tower.

    And according to the NYT article, it will have 115 floors!

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    The Dude Abides
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    In Chicago, Plans for a High-Rise Raise Interest and Post-9/11 Security Concerns



    By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO

    Published: July 26, 2005

    CHICAGO, July 25 - In a city known for its skyscrapers, in an era when tall buildings have become targets, can the skyline handle one more that stretches the limit? In Chicago, it seems, the answer may be yes - if the architect is a "starchitect" like Santiago Calatrava.

    Mr. Calatrava, a Spaniard who lives in Zurich, has designed what would be the country's tallest building for Chicago. The developer, Christopher T. Carley, plans to announce the $500 million project on Tuesday.

    The structure would be called the Fordham Spire and is proposed to be built at North Water Street and Lake Shore Drive, near where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan. It would be 115 stories, topping out at 1,458 feet to its roof. A spire on top would reach about 2,000 feet, making the building the country's tallest.

    The Sears Tower, at 1,729 feet, is now the tallest when antennas are included. The Burj Tower in Dubai, under construction, is said to be planned at 2,300 feet, which would make it the world's tallest.

    Developers in Chicago have tried in recent years to erect another large skyscraper to add to the Sears Tower, John Hancock Center and Aon Center, 3 of the 15 tallest buildings in the world. A soft commercial real estate market doomed those efforts. But Mr. Carley, a local developer of expensive residential properties, said the Fordham Spire - named after his development firm, the Fordham Company - would be a mixed-use tower with 200 to 250 condominiums atop a 20-story hotel. He said that its unique design, which resembles a drill bit, a blade of grass or a tall, twisting tree, depending on whom you ask, would attract high-end buyers eager to live in a Calatrava structure.

    Both developer and architect said they were mindful of security concerns in designing the tower. Mr. Calatrava, in an interview, said he never set out to design the tallest building but instead was drawn to the project by the chance to do something special for the "heroic Chicago skyline."

    "Nobody is saying it has to be the highest building in the country," Mr. Calatrava said Monday from Zurich. "The idea was to build a very slender, elegant building in this skyline."

    Mr. Calatrava, an engineer by training who has in recent years moved from designing bridges and airports to tall buildings in New York and Malmo, Sweden, said the Chicago structure would be concrete and have two sets of emergency stairways.

    In New York, where Mr. Calatrava is the architect of the new transportation hub being built at the former World Trade Center site, the designers of the Freedom Tower acceded to security concerns by the New York Police Department and redesigned the structure this spring, adding a 200-foot reinforced base that will be virtually windowless. The Freedom Tower, if built to its current designed height, would be 1,362 feet to its roof, and 1,776 feet to the top of its antenna.

    Mr. Calatrava said he was not concerned the Chicago tower could be seen as a terrorist target. It will be residential, not commercial, he said, and have a slender profile that would be less attractive to potential attackers. "Those things that were done in the Freedom Tower were for very particular reasons," he said. "This is a completely different situation."

    Mr. Carley said he was preparing for a tough fight in Chicago to get his tower approved but did not expect its height to be a chief concern - even though he currently has approval only to build two structures of 300 feet and 500 feet. Donald J. Trump had plans for a 150-story building in Chicago but cut it back to 90 stories shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Mr. Carley dismissed Mr. Trump's decision as a reaction to the soft commercial market, but Mr. Trump said the reason was security. "Nobody in his right mind would build a building of that height in today's horrible world," he said in a telephone interview on Monday.

    "I don't think this is a real project," Mr. Trump said of the Fordham Spire. "It's a total charade."

    But so far, Chicago politicians are bubbling over the tower's design, and Mr. Carley and his sales team say that movie stars and at least one former chief executive of a Fortune 500 company are calling to inquire about buying units.

    Living in the Calatrava tower would not come cheap, by Chicago standards. Mr. Carley said he expected one-bedroom units to sell initially for at least $600,000, with full-floor units of some 7,200-square-feet topping out at $5 million.

    So far, Mr. Carley said, he has lined up loose financing commitments from a company that represents a pension trust and from Corus Bank, which has backed other Fordham projects.

    Alderman Burt Natarus, whose ward includes the tower's proposed site, said he was "amazed" when he saw a model of Mr. Calatrava's design. "It's like a needlepoint," Mr. Natarus said. "We have to sit down and we'll have to talk about security, that's all."

    A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said he had not heard of the project, and Monique Bond, the spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, which handles Homeland Security concerns here, said she had not heard of it, either.

    Mr. Calatrava initially passed on at least two sites before Mr. Carley's son Brian, a vice president with Fordham, proposed buying 2.2 acres near Navy Pier, a top tourist attraction. Mr. Calatrava said the location would practically bisect the skyline's two most notable towers, the Sears and Hancock.

    The twisting design, which was recently tested in a wind tunnel in Canada, would disperse Chicago's gusting winds, Mr. Carley said. And Mr. Calatrava designed the interior so that posts and columns would be toward the structure's center, to allow balconies on some floors and maximize the floor-to-ceiling views.

    Lynn Osmond, president of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, said, "Every city that wants to be a significant city needs to have works of some of the significant architects." Mr. Calatrava, Ms. Osmond said, designs great buildings.

    The Carleys were aware of Mr. Calatrava's celebrity but did not shy away from using him, as some developers have. "We are not afraid of the starchitect," Brian Carley said.

    Still, while on a trip to visit the architect in Zurich, Brian Carley said, Mr. Calatrava's wife, Robertina, turned to him and said, "You know, Brian, whatever you call the building, it will be still be known as the Calatrava."



    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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    The Dude Abides
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    Reminds me a lot of the plans for the South Dearborn Tower. Wouldn't be surprised if it fell through just like that one did. Still, it's impressive that something like this is even being proposed for an American city. Too bad that no one would even consider something this tall for New York.

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    ^hello...Freedom Tower? (If either are built)


    Other than FT wasn't the con ed supposed to have an 85 floor office tower with 3 80 floor apt? or was that cancelled, other than that, your right, chicago makes NY look like it has no balls.

  12. #12
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    I am under the impression that they are still clearing the Con Ed site.

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    Yea but I'm talking about that specific plan. there will be buildings on there though.

  14. #14

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    Proposed building would be nation’s tallest

    July 26, 2005

    BY DAVID ROEDER AND KEVIN NANCE Staff Reporters


    Chicago's lakefront would get a contender for the title of tallest building in the United States under a developer's plan devised in partnership with Santiago Calatrava, one of the world's foremost architects.

    Christopher Carley, chairman of Fordham Co., has shown city officials Calatrava's plan for the Fordham Spire, a hotel/condo tower at 346 E. North Water, where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan and across Lake Shore Drive from Navy Pier.

    At 115 stories, the tower would be 1,458 feet to its roof, taller by eight feet than the roof of Sears Tower. But the Calatrava building would include a spire that, depending on structural details, would bring the building to around 2,000 feet.

    'Financiers are in awe of this man'

    Renderings of the Fordham Spire show a tall, slender, ethereal building whose glass-and-steel surface cascades down a central concrete core. The floor slabs are cantilevered out from the core, with each rotated about two degrees from the one below. As they rise, the floors turn 270 degrees around the core, creating an undulating effect like a gown or cloak.

    "I know that Chicago is an Indian name, and I can imagine in the oldest time the Native Americans arriving at the lake and making a fire, with a tiny column of smoke going up in the air," Calatrava said. "With this simple gesture of turning one floor a little past another, you achieve this form."

    Carley said the task of lining up money for the possibly $500 million building "has been the easiest in my career'' because of Calatrava, best known in the U.S. for his 2001 addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum and his planned transit hub at New York's Ground Zero. "Financiers are in awe of this man."

    So are many architects. "He's a fabulous architect and structural engineer," says Chicago's Adrian Smith, a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. "I love the sculptural quality of his work, how he relates the shape of his buildings to the structural forces in them. His work is very beautiful -- not often steely or tough, but usually highly refined and soft and sensual. He's one of a kind."


    FORDHAM SPIRE
    Location: 346 E. North Water
    Height: 1,458 feet to the roof, about 2,000 feet counting spire
    Stories: 115
    Square footage: 920,000
    Projected cost: more than $500 million
    Building use: 200-250 condos, 200-250 hotel rooms, retail and parking at the base
    Possible construction start: May 2006
    Possible completion: 2009
    Developer: Fordham Co.
    Architect: Santiago Calatrava

    Political, financial hurdles

    The main questions for the Carley-Calatrava team are whether the structure, planned as a mix of condominiums and hotel units, can be financed and whether it is politically realistic. It falls within the Streeterville neighborhood, a concentration of well-to-do residents increasingly irritable over new high-rises in their midst.

    For Carley, meanwhile, the building would be a step up in the development game. After years of putting up multifamily housing around the Midwest, he entered the downtown market in the late 1990s and completed three major condo buildings, a low-rise at 65 E. Goethe and high-rises at 21 E. Huron and 25 E. Superior.

    All catered to wealthy buyers. Sales were slower than expected and Carley had to refinance his loans. He said all his lenders have been repaid and that his relationships with them are good.

    His company has a contract to buy the 2.2-acre site from affiliates of Chicago-based LR Development Co. LLC.

    Carley said his confidence in completing the building "is more than [for] any project I've ever done because the city administration appreciates great architecture.'' He said he courted Calatrava for three years before finding a site suitable for the architect's artistic and engineering gifts.

    Will neighbors support plan?

    But in the end, the partnership was forged by "personal chemistry,'' Carley said. "I think he was impressed by my dedication to the city and my desire to do something for the city.''

    While his plan could stir controversy, it plays into Mayor Daley's pronounced desire to have top-flight architects leave an imprint in Chicago. Also, Carley employs the law firm of Daley & George, whose name partner is mayoral brother Michael Daley. The firm has one of the busiest zoning practices in the city.

    Carley said city planners saw the project's details in May and were impressed by the curved, flowing profile of the building. A spokeswoman for the city's Planning Department said the agency would not comment on the design until developers submit a formal zoning plan.

    Carley said his plan needs a zoning variance to change the height limitation on the site. And therein lies an argument he'll use against any critics.

    Current zoning, he said, lets him put up two buildings on the site in the range of 35 and 50 stories. Going taller and skinnier will minimize blockage of sunlight and views, Carley said.

    In addition, he said a Calatrava building will raise property values for the neighbors.

    It's not known if the residents will buy that argument. Rosalie Harris, executive director of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, said the group has been shown only a few details of the project and not enough on which to form an opinion.

    The group orchestrated a campaign against a proposed 64-story tower near the landmark Fourth Presbyterian Church at Michigan and Delaware, causing the local alderman to come out against it.

  15. #15

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    Height of PR: Altitude brings bragging rights

    July 26, 2005

    BY KEVIN NANCE ARCHITECTURE CRITIC


    The height of the proposed Fordham Spire -- which at 1,458 feet would be the tallest building in Chicago and the nation, not counting the spire that would top it out at about 2,000 feet -- is the least important thing about it, its architect and developer say.

    "There is nothing special about being the highest, and that has never been our goal," architect Santiago Calatrava insists. "The important thing was to find the right shape. To create the slender, ethereal effect we want, it was necessary for it to be very tall. But if it were 10 feet shorter than the Sears Tower [which is 1,450 feet], it would make no difference."

    Fordham Co. chairman Chris Carley adds that the attention given to the Fordham Spire's height is mostly "a distraction from the fact that it's a great building by a great architect."

    'A major selling point'

    But that hasn't stopped the Fordham Spire's public relations campaign from trumpeting the phrase "nation's tallest building" prominently in its press materials -- for which there's a good reason.

    "There's a tremendous amount of PR value to developers and architects in going after the title of 'nation's tallest building' or 'world's tallest building,' " says Chicago architect Adrian Smith, the designer of what will be the world's new tallest building -- a mixed-use tower of "substantially more than 2,000 feet," that is scheduled for completion in 2008 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    "It heightens the visibility of the project and becomes a major selling point," says Smith, a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. "In the case of Dubai, for example, they're trying to become a tourist destination in the Middle East and build the city into an economic center."

    Besides, consumers are simply drawn by the "tallest" moniker, as evidenced by the fact that the Dubai building's apartments and condominiums were sold out within three days of the project's announcement.

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