July 27, 2005
Spanish architect and 2005 AIA Gold Medal
winner Santiago Calatrava, FAIA, has proposed a residential
tower design for Chicagos lakefront that could become
the tallest building in the United States. The 115-story tall
glass and metal-clad design is dubbed Fordham Spire. It spirals
at two degrees per floor, swirling towards its rooftop mast,
which is included in the overall height of 2,000 feet. Not
counting the mast, the buildings roof is actually 1,458
feet, a mere eight feet taller than the current record holder,
nearby Sears Tower.
The site is part of the lakefront River East development,
and the tower is significantly larger than the structures
envisioned in the areas 1980s-era master plan. The towers
base will include an undetermined mix of retail and parking
uses. Its 920,000 square feet will include 200 to 250 condominium
units and a similar number of hotel rooms.
Image Courtesy The Kreisberg
Calatrava, who is also working on skyscrapers in New York,
Valencia, and Mälmo, Sweden is well known in the region
for his addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Several years
ago he produced a design for a lakefront pedestrian bridge
that the city has essentially shelved. Experts familiar with
the local real estate market question whether the Fordham
Companys Christopher Carley, the projects developer,
can successfully market the high-priced residential units
in a luxury market that many consider mature.
Previous schemes to break the Sears Towers lock on
the citys tallest building have repeatedly stumbled,
most recently when New York developer Donald Trump reduced
the height of his Trump International Hotel & Tower in
the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Trumps
project is currently under construction and will be the citys
second-tallest tower at 1,360 feet including its spire.
Completion on Calatravas tower is scheduled, pending
city review and approvals, for 2009.