Wednesday, July 25, 2012

311 S. Wacker

The event I attended yesterday was at the Winter Garden, a six-story indoor space at 311 S. Wacker, one of Chicago’s taller skyscrapers. Seventh-tallest in the city, in fact, which I didn’t know till I looked it up. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the killjoys who took the tallest-building title away from the Sears Tower once upon a time, 311 S. Wacker is the 74th tallest building in the world. I didn’t know that either, but why would I?

A little more on 311 S. Wacker: It’s a Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates design, about 1.4 million square feet in 65 floors. I remember it under construction in the late ’80s – it’s a very late ’80s building, if you asked me – but didn’t get to see it complete until later, since I was out of the country by the time it was finished in 1990.

It stands pretty close to the Sears Tower, across the street in fact, so 25-words-or-fewer architecture tour guides can point to the Sears Tower and say, “That’s the modern one.” And then to 311 S. Wacker: “That’s the postmodern one.”

So there I was in the 74th tallest building in the world, looking up at the ceiling of the Winter Garden. The floor is below ground level, but the glass ceiling is well above it. (See yesterday for a picture of the floor.)

I couldn’t say for sure, but I think those palms are embalmed. Not like people are, but like large plants can be for public spaces exactly like this.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home