Gallery: Spiraling Calatrava Chicago Tower to be World’s 2nd tallest

 
Santiago Calatrava's Chicago Spire Diagrams

Chicago’s city skyline is about to be graced by a stunning new super-structure that will rise above its shore like a helical seashell. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the 2000 foot Chicago Spire will be the world’s second tallest building upon its completion in 2011. The halcyon monolith is beautiful example of biomimicry, taking cues from the spiraling structure of the nautilus. It’s an iconic spire with a timeless form that will take strong future-forward steps with a projected LEED gold rating.

The Chicage Spire has been called the world’s most significant residential building, featuring 150 floors and 1,194 residences. The slender structure rotates each floor an average of 2.44 degrees to total 360 degrees from top to bottom, guaranteeing that no two views are the same. Calatrava explains: “what distinguishes this building from any other tall building . . . is that this building is not done for a corporation, or a group of corporations, it is done for individual human beings”

“Inspired by nature, by the interaction of earth, water, and air,” the structure is replete with biomorphic elements. Its helical form incorporates the golden mean and the Fibonacci sequence to closely mirror the spiraling growth of the nautilus shell. Calatrava states “the principles I follow are based on repetition. This reminds you of nature because nature often works in patterns.”

The sparkling super-structure incorporates a variety of sustainable elements, including a fluid facade shrouded in high performance glass that has been designed to protect migratory birds. All landscaping is maintained via a rainwater recycling system, and a geothermal system draws river water to cool the building. The entire interior is outfitted with an Intelligent Building & Energy Management System, and it bests energy efficiency standards by 15 percent.

Lately we’ve seen Chicago bolstering its eminent architectural heritage with scores of stunning projects and sustainable initiatives; this latest project is sure to be a sustainable gem that will channel and exemplify the ardency of these efforts.

+ The Chicago Spire + Santiago Calatrava

Via Associated Construction Publications

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15 Comments

  1. grayslayer August 21, 2008 at 11:56 am

    While I enjoy the concept and idea of a building that biomimicks the natural growth of a shell, I can’t help but think this building looks like a giant joint. I think the Windy City can look forward to a host of nicknames this building will receive like, The Blunt Building, The Toke Tower, or maybe even The Rolled Gold Building… you can see where this is going.

  2. librlman June 15, 2008 at 1:22 am

    My first thought at seeing this building design is that it seems eminently appropriate to build a spiraling skyscraper in Chicago, given that it is known as the \”windy city,\” and given that the trees that best weathered the strong winds of hurricane Katrina (and every other hurricane along the gulf coast) have a spiral growth pattern. I am neither an architect nor an engineer, but I suspect that the spiraled support columns lend structural stability against powerful gusts much the same as said trees. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the gold LEED rating though. I would have preferred to see some wind turbines and solar panels to green it up a bit more (help power the elevators and other systems), but at least it\’s good to see them use geothermal power.

  3. jdiewald June 13, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Oh…. and i forgot… a true sign of a weak design or designer: a blind attempt to lay claim to the ‘Worlds Tallest’.

  4. jdiewald June 13, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Calatrava is and has always been about imposing his own egotism on urban and natural landscapes. His consistent one-liners (ie. this one is an eyeball, this one is a bird, and they move!) are architectural gimmicks at best. The only reason this project touts any green initiatives is 1: it has a massive budget that Calatrava and his team will no doubt exceed and 2: It is a demand of the market (and Mayor Daley). The latter is an important step towards progress. The former reveals the project as it is, fully anemic in any sort of innovation. The project does not advance the discourse, it simply replicates tested and conventional (high dollar) products and systems. We should all know better than to get swept up in the hype of false ingenuity of which Calatrava reigns supreme.

  5. Scott June 13, 2008 at 6:42 am

    I don’t see how this is inspired by the nautilus. The nautilus shell is formed in a completely different way from this building for completely different purposes.

    I would also like to know what Calatrava means by this building was designed for individuals and not corporations, or his own architectural whim. What research went in to discovering what Chicago residents need? What are these solutions? I go to school in Chicago and pass by this site occasionally. What makes this a great solution isn’t obvious and more explanation is needed, otherwise I have to assume that its not a great solution. Sorry.

  6. urbanwoodswalker June 12, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I lived in Chicago for 30 years. I would not want to live in this…even if I was a multimillionaire. It seems to ruin the skyline, and it certainly worries me about being a terrorist target. Its very very sci fi for Chicago…very Buck Rodgers.

    Its just something I am not ready for. Then again, I am a huge Helmut Jahn fan, and many hate his works.

  7. energ8t June 12, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    I agree with tuttles. It appears like it is using bio-mimicry, but exactly how is not stated enough. It will be nice to see it in more detail, bio-mimicry-wise, but I will say that it is good that there is some effort being put forth. Regarding the purpose of the design, I think a good designer can legitimize anything given the task. The fact that it needs to be the second tallest is questionable since it is obviously doing so for THAT reason and not out of need. One thing nature does is refrain from creating fictitious necessities- is that what we have here?. I’m sure the views it blocks will be sustainable though. I think that someone’s bank account will grow based on the Fibonacci as well- haha. I can’t help but imagine it boring out a piece of wood and raining saw dust all over Chicago – “green snow”.

  8. energ8t June 12, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I agree with tuttles. It appears like it is using bio-mimicry, but exactly how is not stated enough. It will be nice to see it in more detail, bio-mimicry-wise, but I will say that it is good that there is some effort being put forth. Regarding the purpose of the design, I think a good designer can legitimize anything given the task. The fact that it needs to be the second tallest is questionable since it is obviously doing so for THAT reason and not out of need. One thing nature does is refrain from creating fictitious necessities- is that what we have here?. I’m sure the views it blocks will be sustainable though. I think that someone’s bank account will grow based on the Fibonacci as well- haha. I can’t help but imagine it boring out a piece of wood and raining saw dust all over Chicago – “green” snow.

  9. cpine June 12, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    biomorphic, as in, “Why does a dog lick its nether regions — because it can!” Architects put egocentric stuff forward for public consumption because…

  10. tuttles June 12, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I would like to know more about how this is an example of biomimicry. Biomimicry incorporates natural processes and principles. Using the Fibonacci sequence does not make it an example of biomimicry. There needs to be a reason for using the Fibonacci sequence, to fit form and function together, as nature does. However, I can see how it would be biomorphic, looking like smoke spiralling or other things along the lines of human anatomy.

  11. eriknbrooklyn June 12, 2008 at 9:22 am

    I have to say i’m pleased to find i’m not the only one who’s not falling for calatrava’s bullshit anymore. I can design a great cube on the earth and say it was derived from nature with as much justification as this garbage. Calling this “architecture” is a misnomer that poisons the perspective of the public. i think developers should be forbidden from even using the word.

  12. Neomae June 12, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I think it’s beautiful – reminds me of a unicorn’s horn.

  13. frankenbeans June 12, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Geez, got phallus on the brain? Needing something asdf? At first glance I actually saw a baguette.. and I’m not even hungry.

  14. MN June 11, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    whatever happened to the democratic rational of good architecture? the purity, and simplicity of nature’s inspiration? GREEN efforts are seizing the allure of glitz and glam, which trump the founding initiatives.

  15. zyde June 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    spiral again? i like it and all, but everyone is making spiral now, The only thing different is that this is for resident, RICH residents.

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