A view to die for. Well almost.

Sharon McHugh
Sunday 21 Jun 2009

Going out on a Ledge at the Sears Tower

The folks that operate the Sears Tower (now Willis) in Chicago got this crazy idea in their heads for how to drum up business for the well- known tourist attraction in the post 911 environment. The result is the Ledge, four glass bottom boxes that extend out from the building’s 103 floor Skydeck that will allow visitors to literally stand on air as they take in the views of the city beyond and now below. The inspiration for the project came from the hundreds of forehead prints visitors left behind on the Skydeck’s windows every week, clamoring to get the penultimate view.

Designed by SOM, the boxes, which are located on the tower’s west side, and are fully retractable to aid in window-washing, will extend 4.3 feet out from the building’s facade. Each box is comprised of three layers of half-inch thick glass, and will hold about five tons, well beyond their expected capacity.

The Ledge, which is part of the skyscraper’s $multimillion renovation, opens in June.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

Key Facts

United States

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
  • Town Planning Manager | Housebuilder in Surrey | 3+ years' PQE

    Are you a Town Planner with some commercial experience under your belt (consultancy or developer)? Would you like to work for a regional housebuild...
    • Lewis Davey
    • Surrey - near M25/M23 junction
  • Principal Planning Officer (Local Planning)

    The Planning Policy Team is looking to recruit a member of staff to assist with the Local Plan Review.
    • Chichester District Council
    • Chichester, West Sussex
  • Principal Planning Consultant (Policy)

    This is a career opportunity for somebody looking to play a key role in the delivery of an effective and efficient planning policy service.
    • Capita
    • Manchester/Salford (North West) or Breckland or North Tyneside or Barnet (North London)
  • Enforcement Officer - Hertfordshire

    A Local Authority in Hertfordshire are looking for an Enforcement Officer to assist them with a backlog of cases for an initial contract of 3-6 months
    • Oyster Partnership
    • Hertfordshire
  • Planning Officer

    Do you want to work for a Planning Authority in a superb world-class location, that also has an outstanding record of achievement?
    • Plymouth City Council
    • Plymouth, Devon