ofA city of skyscrapers and host to the world’s tallest building for 24 years, The Sears Tower, until Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers stole that crown in 1998, Chicago is a city that strives for vertical elegance in design. And in 2009 this battle will endure with the groundbreaking of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Residential Tower.
The tower, designed by DeStefano & Partners, is contrived to compliment and not overshadow the Chicago skyline. Despite reaching 1,100ft high with over 100 floors when complete, the tower will take second standing to the mighty Sears Towers, respectfully holding back and allowing the Chicago landmark its stature.
The design itself presents a simple structure of glass and steel, which will taper smoothly into the sky asymmetrically, creating the illusion of a twisting figure. The shaft of the tower will rise from the slender base to what appears to be a wider scalpel shaped summit, giving the construction a winding, rotating impression, as if it has drilled itself graciously into Chicago’s landscape. The building was designed to adhere to the current trend in Chicagoan architecture where taller thinner buildings are favoured to shorter buildings providing the same square footage, because the slender fabrications block fewer views.
Included in the €450million tower will be 325 hotel rooms, 367 condominium residences and an 11,000 sq ft ballroom accompanied by a variety of smaller conference suites. The base of the building will also contain a variety of banquet facilities, meeting rooms, and restaurants, along with a private car parking garage capable of holding 772 vehicles, all of which will be located underground to maximize open space at the foot of the tower for the local population. The tower is set to take three years to construct with completion in 2012.
David Schiavone with Niki May Young