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-   -   CHICAGO | BMO Tower | 727 FT | 50 FLOORS (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=224752)

donnie Jun 26, 2018 3:08 AM

BWAHAHAHAHA!

Thnx, i needed that.

left of center Jun 26, 2018 3:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 8232838)
It looks like someone dropped a cookie cutter West Loop midrise on top of venerable Union Station.

That would actually be an improvement over the proposed design.

Natoma Jun 26, 2018 3:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ned.B (Post 7815201)
Somewhere I have the drawings for LaGrange's tower addition. Of course, no surprise it was clad in precast and detailing wasn't nearly as refined as the rendering would lead one to believe.

Blair Kamin's column mentioned Lucien Lagrange's 2002 proposal. Was anyone able to dig up some drawings?

left of center Jun 26, 2018 3:56 AM

^ Was it this?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7815172)
That's pretty much exactly what Lucien Lagrange planned to do with Prime Group for one of the stillborn development schemes circa 2003. There's no ornament on the "tower;" it's just limestone and punched openings.

http://i.imgur.com/A6YBSJt.png


Mr Downtown Jun 26, 2018 4:22 AM

A practical consideration the architect mentioned at tonight's meeting is the need to cantilever the residential and hotel floors out a few feet from the current office floors. The main reason is to get sufficient depth. The existing floors are only 50 feet deep, which wouldn't work very well for double-loaded corridors of apartments. By cantilevering both into the light well and on the outside walls, they get 65- or 70-foot-deep floors.

I found the reasoning for this design choice persuasive, and the results inoffensive. The architect said they'd done some studies that used stone cladding; I'd like to see those. But I'm not sure what really would work any better than this.

TallBob Jun 26, 2018 4:45 AM

I hope this is an "April Fools" joke (two months late)!!

ardecila Jun 26, 2018 6:08 AM

Why even have apartments at all? Seems like a natural site for a large hotel instead of a small one, and with a mixed-use program they need two different cores and access. A large hotel could even market to small conventions and work out an arrangement with Amtrak so the spaces off the Great Hall could be used as meeting spaces.

This design doesn’t kill me, I love how solid it looks from an oblique angle. Seems appropriate to go on top of a clunky limestone pile like Union Station. With Goettsch, I was afraid we would get some blue glass thing that was truly a UFO. This is one place where beige is a good idea, IMO, especially if it’s a good quality precast or terra cotta. The larger rendering appears to show a Morris Adjmi-esque “flange” on each of the beige panels, so up close it will probably resemble a beige version of Landmark West Loop, using beige powder coated sheet metal (not a bad thing necessarily). The floor-to-floor heights are really squat, though... seems like they could make the proportions a little better by raising the ceiling heights.

Austin55 Jun 26, 2018 10:53 AM

Architectural atrocity

trvlr70 Jun 26, 2018 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rizzo (Post 8232810)
Had a hunch this design would be a train wreck

Good one!!! :)

the urban politician Jun 26, 2018 1:21 PM

I don’t think it’s a crime, I think it’s a practical vertical extension. My main beef is with the materials.

The city should demand, and get in writing, that certain high quality materials will be used here, such as stone cladding. Anything less should be DOA

k1052 Jun 26, 2018 1:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8233103)
I don’t think it’s a crime, I think it’s a practical vertical extension. My main beef is with the materials.

The city should demand, and get in writing, that certain high quality materials will be used here, such as stone cladding. Anything less should be DOA

Raise the ceiling heights (really looks too squat as proposed), use black granite and black aluminum clad, do something about the mishmash of different windows slapped on this.

Then perhaps tolerable.

rlw777 Jun 26, 2018 1:45 PM

Oh hell no!

Why are they doing anything to this gorgeous building?

MayorOfChicago Jun 26, 2018 1:57 PM

Wow, how sad.

ChiHi Jun 26, 2018 2:09 PM

It's pretty much the Soldier Field of office buildings.... (That's not a good thing)

Loopy Jun 26, 2018 2:13 PM

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DgnVR0jU0AAOLyw.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DgnVR0jU0AEhIEF.jpg

Mr Downtown Jun 26, 2018 2:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlw777 (Post 8233128)
Why are they doing anything to this gorgeous building?

Because Amtrak loses $1 billion per year. Property owners in need of money sometimes lease their excess property (or air rights).

Why apartments? Undoubtedly to spread the financial risk. There's been little new hotel lending in the last couple of years. Though—by European standards—Union Station would seem like a killer location for a hotel, it's too far from Michigan Avenue and McCormick Place, the traffic generators that really get Chicago hotels through the long winters.

From the way it was discussed last night, I got the impression that the wall system would be bronze-colored, and would match the restored windows in the older portion. I imagined something like 401 N. Michigan, but that was never said explicitly. TUP, where are you thinking there will be any stone?

Jim in Chicago Jun 26, 2018 2:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 8232784)
Larger image-
https://i.imgur.com/43mzmZ2.jpg
img src - crain's

This angle makes it look like the top whatever it is actually flares out, making it even fuglier.

Dear sweet Jesus, NO. Just NO, NO, NO.

Is there any hope that the landmark status can prevent this from happening?

sentinel Jun 26, 2018 2:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8232926)
A practical consideration the architect mentioned at tonight's meeting is the need to cantilever the residential and hotel floors out a few feet from the current office floors. The main reason is to get sufficient depth. The existing floors are only 50 feet deep, which wouldn't work very well for double-loaded corridors of apartments. By cantilevering both into the light well and on the outside walls, they get 65- or 70-foot-deep floors.

I found the reasoning for this design choice persuasive, and the results inoffensive. The architect said they'd done some studies that used stone cladding; I'd like to see those. But I'm not sure what really would work any better than this.

The reason for the cantilever is one thing, the final facade design of the addition doesn't have anything to do with former; it's just a lazy, graceless, distracting, and ultimately disrespectful design that negates the beauty of Union Station. Really ugly and unfortunate.

maru2501 Jun 26, 2018 2:51 PM

wow

Vlajos Jun 26, 2018 2:57 PM

Freaking hideous. This should not be allowed.

gebs Jun 26, 2018 3:13 PM

The good news is, this might be the first time I've seen this entire forum sharing the same opinion.

the urban politician Jun 26, 2018 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8233173)
Though—by European standards—Union Station would seem like a killer location for a hotel, it's too far from Michigan Avenue and McCormick Place, the traffic generators that really get Chicago hotels through the long winters.

Why does it always seem like you're stuck in the year 1996? Hotel construction (or conversion from office) has and is happening here and in the West Loop, because this is where a lot of jobs are. Mostly it's extended stay stuff, but it is there. The idea that downtown is all about "Mag Mile and McCormick Place" is a way outdated notion.

Quote:

TUP, where are you thinking there will be any stone?
I see a little bit of room for masonry in those renderings...

ardecila Jun 26, 2018 4:07 PM

^ He was answering my question, which is why the developers are not considering a multi-hundred key hotel... bigger than the tourist boutique stuff or the extended-stay stuff in Fulton Market, with a stronger focus on events... more like the Marriott Mag Mile or Hyatt Regency.

To be fair, this proposal calls for 330 rooms which is indeed larger than anything we've seen in the West Loop to date. But designing a mixed-use building is challenging enough when you have a blank slate. I'm concerned the separate cores, lobbies, loading dock, and services could overwhelm the public spaces at ground level, which need to remain as-is. Should, for example, some of the many station entries and stairwells be taken over for a plush hotel lobby or apartment mailroom?

Also, I think a hotel is just more compatible with a transit hub than apartments are. Will apartment dwellers complain about the noise from taxis or train announcements? Certainly they will demand parking, and the 245 parking spaces planned to go beneath the Great Hall in an existing basement will only complicate any future efforts to improve the transit hub.

Kumdogmillionaire Jun 26, 2018 4:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 8232879)
That would actually be an improvement over the proposed design.

Uhhhh, it's almost a carbon copy of half the stuff coming out of there though(that isn't brick faux-factory design garble). Don't defend the West Loop.

God... this design is making my eyes bleed. Do we have a doctor here?

left of center Jun 26, 2018 4:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kumdogmillionaire (Post 8233347)
Uhhhh, it's almost a carbon copy of half the stuff coming out of there though(that isn't brick faux-factory design garble). Don't defend the West Loop.

God... this design is making my eyes bleed. Do we have a doctor here?

In this case, I'll defend the West Loop. While some (or most, depending on your opinion) of the West Loop midrises range from being either unremarkable to butt ugly, the use of brick as a cladding material at least makes them feel more authentic and help them blend in with their surroundings, which are also mostly existing brick construction.

The Union Station expansion is just... jarring. While theres nothing wrong with having a nice contrast of limestone and steel+glass, this is just done in a terrible manner. Instead of celebrating the differences of the two styles, one style somehow tries to ungracefully copy the other, and the end result is that it ends up shitting on the original building that it tried to compliment.

There are plenty of examples of having an expansion to a vintage building that plays off the contrasts between the materials and styles of each component. The Union Station rendering makes it seem that the addition is apologetically trying to hide itself from the viewer, as if it knows its inferior to the base it rests on.

SCB should take a cue from Foster + Partners on how to pull something like this off:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...rstowernyc.JPG
Source: Wikipedia.org

And as I've mentioned before, completing the original Graham, Anderson, Probst & White expansion plan would also be acceptable, and in my opinion, preferred. Assuming of course that they use the right materials.

HomrQT Jun 26, 2018 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 8232784)
Larger image-
https://i.imgur.com/43mzmZ2.jpg
img src - crain's

Good lord that's terrible. What in the world were they thinking?

10023 Jun 26, 2018 5:02 PM

^ and it doesn’t need to be that tall, just interesting and contextual.

Khantilever Jun 26, 2018 5:15 PM

I wonder why they don’t just do an addition with a very smooth, light glass curtainwall. Maybe even ultra-reflective Glass, which would automatically redirect your attention to the base and surroundings.

k1052 Jun 26, 2018 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8233345)
Also, I think a hotel is just more compatible with a transit hub than apartments are. Will apartment dwellers complain about the noise from taxis or train announcements? Certainly they will demand parking, and the 245 parking spaces planned to go beneath the Great Hall in an existing basement will only complicate any future efforts to improve the transit hub.

I can't really imagine what would go beneath the head house as far as transit improvements go. The high rise over the concourse is the real impediment.

rgarri4 Jun 26, 2018 6:04 PM

Lord have mercy that's bad! Why on earth does it cantilever out? It's like it want to pretend Union station isn't directly underneath it. Just leave it alone.

left of center Jun 26, 2018 6:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgarri4 (Post 8233497)
Lord have mercy that's bad! Why on earth does it cantilever out? It's like it want to pretend Union station isn't directly underneath it. Just leave it alone.

Due to the preservation of the light well, the floor plates would be too small to efficiently house residential and hotel functions. The resulting cantilever is their ugly attempt to rectify the lack of space.

rgarri4 Jun 26, 2018 6:27 PM

At very very least lose the waist belt. It interrupts rhythm of facade super abruptly. Not that its much better but you could do something like this instead:


https://images2.imgbox.com/c3/16/igrqVGq1_o.jpg

sentinel Jun 26, 2018 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gebs (Post 8233251)
The good news is, this might be the first time I've seen this entire forum sharing the same opinion.

Try again...there is at least one person here who likes it (not me).

It's an abomination, pure and simple.

k1052 Jun 26, 2018 7:04 PM

Greg Hinz updated his story in Crain's. Looks like the developer DGAF that the design isn't loved, no major changes planned. They intend to start next year.

I'm happy to see the head house building much more intensely used though. Just hope the addition turns out better than the renderings.

Rizzo Jun 26, 2018 7:28 PM

If one is to go the glass box route, at least set it back to acknowledge the tapering setbacks as originally intended. Perhaps even slope the glass enough to reflect only the sky and make the entire mass disappear. It’s the lightest possible addition vs not building at all.

The more I look at this, the more I don’t like it. Just seems really heavy handed. The contextual acknowledgements seem to be re-entrant corners of sorts and the bronze cladding matching the spandrels. It doesn’t do enough to be sensitive to the original building.

nomarandlee Jun 26, 2018 7:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgarri4 (Post 8233534)
At very very least lose the waist belt. It interrupts rhythm of facade super abruptly. Not that its much better but you could do something like this instead:


https://images2.imgbox.com/c3/16/igrqVGq1_o.jpg

That is almost palatable. Would be interesting if one could take off the top floor as well as that breaks up the continuity of the rest of the facade.

Granted, taking away both the bottom and top we are just working here to get something not vomit inducing as opposed to something remotely interesting or attractive. The bar should be higher for one the city's historical icons.

Rizzo Jun 26, 2018 7:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgarri4 (Post 8233534)
At very very least lose the waist belt. It interrupts rhythm of facade super abruptly. Not that its much better but you could do something like this instead:


https://images2.imgbox.com/c3/16/igrqVGq1_o.jpg

Thanks for the mock-up. I agree, lose the waist belt. That’s a good way to put it lol. They don’t need to forcefully divorce the addition from the building with that gesture. The materials are enough to lend contrast.

r18tdi Jun 26, 2018 7:46 PM

Looks much better without the recessed belt, less top heavy.
I'd like something that steps back, but with the limited floor shape that would be impossible without compromising the light well.

scalziand Jun 26, 2018 7:50 PM

Any views from the courtyard?

SpireGuy Jun 26, 2018 8:26 PM

The proposed Union Station extension and Lynn Becker's twitter post exemplify the state of 'architecture' in Chicago right now. Worth a read!
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/835/2...c7f9ac39_b.jpgunion station 6.26 by Chicagooan, on Flickr

gebs Jun 26, 2018 8:29 PM

An insult to Chicago's architectural bona fides

Edward Keegan, Crain's Chicago Business

"The SCB scheme looks like a banal government-issue office building of the 1960s has been plunked down on top of the original. And it's not the contrast that's the problem. We've seen new steel and glass buildings on top of elegant masonry bases before—the best example is New York's Hearst Tower by Sir Norman Foster (who designed the Apple Store on the Chicago River).

SCB's designers have chosen to roughly follow the proportions of the Burnham base, matching their exposed metal frame to the spacing of the original building's limestone piers. They also separate the new from old with a story-tall slot of glazing and top the structure with a slightly different window mullion pattern.

None of these design moves are successful."

Good call on the Hearst comparison to a previous forumer.

nomarandlee Jun 26, 2018 8:46 PM

^^^ Good critique. Agree with all of it......


Is there any way the Landmark Commission and Reilly can go ahead and Ok this with it being so universally panned?

Mr Downtown Jun 26, 2018 9:30 PM

^Of course they can. There's no Ministry of Architectural Excellence. I'd assume that Landmarks staff has already nodded approval, or we'd have never been shown this design.

k1052 Jun 26, 2018 10:29 PM

With the sounds Reilly is making this thing is getting built as is. Only thing left to do is hope it turns out better than it looks.

AMWChicago Jun 26, 2018 11:02 PM

This makes me think of Soldier Field renovation. :yuck:

I'm usually all for any type of construction, even if it's hideous. But because this hardly is architecturally significant and doesn't add any real height to the area, please leave the roof alone and just build the "Cheese Grater" next door.

If you just looked at the seven story addition on its own, it literally looks like any of the dozens of filler in West Loop OR one of the Reso going up along Milwaukee. It isn't significant enough to justify tweaking an historical structure.

r18tdi Jun 26, 2018 11:13 PM

I'm willing to bet that the hotel will have a fittingly lame name, like "The Union House"

Clarkkent2420 Jun 26, 2018 11:16 PM

#

pilsenarch Jun 26, 2018 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8233798)
^Of course they can. There's no Ministry of Architectural Excellence. I'd assume that Landmarks staff has already nodded approval, or we'd have never been shown this design.

I can assure you, based upon intimate experience, if anyone is to blame for this design it's Landmarks staff....

pip Jun 27, 2018 12:01 AM

Wow they bombed on this one. It looks like a rendition of the old Suntimes building plopped on top.

k1052 Jun 27, 2018 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r18tdi (Post 8233925)
I'm willing to bet that the hotel will have a fittingly lame name, like "The Union House"

"Chicago Illinois Union Station House, an Autograph Collection Hotel Extended Stay Urban Luxury Concept, by Marriott"

Hopefully in some enormous and terrible font illuminated at night on all four sides of the addition. Blocking a bunch of windows too.


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