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  #8021  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2021, 4:28 AM
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Credit: Andy Marfia
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  #8022  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2021, 11:19 AM
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^^ Montrose point ?
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  #8023  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2021, 4:43 PM
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^^ Montrose point ?
yep.. that windmill-looking sculpture in the mid-lower-right is just north of diversey harbor
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  #8024  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2021, 5:09 PM
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From today's article in Crain's about the surge in downtown condo transactions:

"One new high-rise in Lakeshore East, the 95-story St. Regis, has closed 121 sales since Jan. 1, according to Crain’s research in real estate sales records."

Not bad.

Source: Chicago's downtown condo market rebounds after COVID slowdown
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  #8025  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2021, 5:41 PM
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Damn, this building’s gotta be like 60-70% purchased now… not bad.
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  #8026  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2021, 7:46 PM
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Hopefully that bodes well for the Tribune Tower addition
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  #8027  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2021, 12:41 AM
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2PRUROCKS! 2PRUROCKS! is offline
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To Pilsenarch:

“Irrational and petty? Where have I ever criticized a Studio Gang project other than Regis? Clearly, the criticism of the St. Regis is objectively valid.

You can have your opinions, but based upon numerous architectural practices in form-making, functionality, structural rationality and expressionism, and quite frankly Studio Gang's own stated project concepts, the building fails.”

You have criticized Aqua in the past. In this post you intentionally left it off you list for “editorial” reasons:
“You guys are forgetting Aqua. Carry on...
LOL... I did that intentionally as an editorial statement... "

I’m not going to go back and find the posts, but you did criticize the rational of the balconies at Aqua to provide select views and in combination with the varied tinting on the glass reduce thermal costs by providing sun shading. I happen to agree with this criticism as the concrete balconies actually cause thermal costs to increase because they radiate cold into the building and heat away in the winter.

Many of your criticisms of St. Regis I believe to be valid and I have been critical of aspects of the tower as well. I am disappointed like many others with the treatment of the mechanical louvers. There were clearly better design options for example selecting colors that blend in better with the various shades of glass that wouldn’t have cost significantly more. She also could have gone with a more elegant and I assume expensive approach with glass louvers or disguise them better like what appears to be happening with Wolf Point South. I am also not crazy about the blow threw, but I not sure what other options there would be.

I think where Gang gets into trouble is in trying to rationalize the forms of her buildings with somewhat tortured function rationales. Form can be a function in and of itself… to provide visual interest, to create an aesthetically pleasing structure, to develop a desirable image, to enhance marketability, to create an iconic structure that stands out from its surroundings, etc. I think most of Gang’s mistakes have occurred when she deviates from the architectural form she is creating for functional reasons when she could have found different solutions to remain consistent to the form. Examples of this include the mechanical level of Aqua where the concrete undulations are interrupted, as well as the mechanical screening and blow threw on St. Regis.

All that said I still find St. Regis to be a wonderful building and will add greatly to the architectural legacy of Chicago. Every review that I have read has been mostly positive. So, for you to say the building is a total failure and never offer any positive comments about it does come across as irrational and petty.

I think Gang did a brilliant job of handling the desires of the developer to create an iconic supertall tower that would be the exclamation point for LSE, while making the developer money, enhancing the desirability and marketability of LSE, connecting LSE together with a multilevel road and a connection to the Riverwalk, and doing it on an odd shaped parcel. The frustums may not be completely practical, but what they bring to the overall aesthetic and the marketability of the tower, and image the developer wants to present as well as the skyline is worth it. By staggering the four building sections and alternating the frustums Gang did an excellent job of breaking up the massing of the tower on the extremely wide north and south sides, making it appear as 4 separate buildings. The glass with its varying tents and colors is sublime and mesmerizing to look at from the skyline perspective and up close in different light conditions. The texture of the window wall system provides a stunning texture when viewed up close from below. The building and layout also provide a masterful multilevel circular connection for LSE a and connection to the Riverwalk. With all of this I can understand someone not liking the tower or being disappointed or critical of certain features, but to say it is a complete failure and refuse to even put it on your list ranking +800ft towers seems to be unreasonable.
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  #8028  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2021, 10:27 PM
pilsenarch pilsenarch is offline
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Sorry, it will probably be in most everyone’s interest to ignore this ridiculously lengthy post…

So, 2PRUROCKS!, I appreciate your ^ explaining Studio Gang’s form making as a means unto itself simply by what many of us architects will refer to as ‘delight’… however, if that form making is separated from functionality, it then becomes simply decoration…

As you probably already know, in architecture schools one of the most lethal criticisms you can give to a student project is that it is purely decorative or sculptural… decoration certainly has a place in architecture - pattern-making and such… I’ve delighted in executing it myself many times… but when it is the basis of form making, it might arguably be identified as art or sculpture, but it certainly isn’t architecture when it has no relationship to the functionality or structural integrity of the building… it ceases to be architecture and it becomes so personal to the designer that it can’t be critiqued… It is not appropriate for the student or the architect to simply state that I picked this color or I created this form ‘because I like it and it looks cool’… it’s impossible to critique that work… the form, the structure, the materials all must be intrinsically derived from the program…

You commendably identify Studio Gang’s questionable attempts at explaining their form making as inadequate or worse, but the reason they go to such lengths to develop these fictions is so they won’t be accused of simply creating art or sculpture (resulting in work which most likely would never be heralded as great architecture because of its disassociation with program, function, structure)… and, yes, you are right, a unique form can give a marketing boost for a project and pride for a city… but why not achieve both a beautiful form and a profound piece of functional architecture as well?

In the case of Aqua’s balconies, those are undeniably reeking of delight… totally beautiful and sublime. They also provide a function: balconies! outdoor space! They are also inherently a clear expression of the building’s structure created by the cantilevering concrete floor plates… as you noted my criticism of that project was primarily focused on the laughable assertion by Studio Gang that the form making of the balconies was related to specific views… I recall a posed photograph of the Studio Gang designers using string to identify these precious view corridors that supposedly generated the final form of the balconies… the funny/sad thing is that it was just insecurity that generated that fiction… they didn’t need it… the design of the balconies and the building’s form were integral to its function and structure and resulted in delight! voila! perfect! I even like the ‘missing’ balconies at the mechanical floors because that is an honest expression of the building’s function… no need to provide balconies for mechanical rooms, right? (and those mechanical levels might even have been double height which would have structurally prevented the cantilevered floor expression at those levels)

Studio Gang has done some sublime work, no doubt – almost all of its portfolio I would argue. They have built awesome residential towers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and San Francisco to name a few which really exploit the inherent 3D structural nature of the precast concrete of their facades in form/pattern making to the delight of both the residents and casual observers…

Which brings us to the St. Regis. I guess I don’t need to repeat any prior critiques here but I would like to explain that many of the admirable design features in the Regis you point out: the urban planning/road access, the ‘3 or 4 buildings as one’, were inherent in the project before it ever reached Studio Gang. Schematic designs by previous designers hired by Lowenberg/Magellen had already developed these concepts and, ironically, the earlier designs of the 3-tower schemes specifically focused on structural expressionism to help solve the inherent structural shear problems of a tower of this height and proportion… Unfortunately, that structural expressionism was jettisoned and we now know the result: the most distinctive and, unfortunately, unintended design statement of the tower – the blow-through… (not to mention the effect 4’ thick exterior concrete shear walls shifting 4’ in and out have on most of the condo floor plans)

Reasonable people can argue the ‘delight’ of the changing glass color and the interlocking forms of the frustums, but no reasonable person can argue that either of these design moves contribute anything to the functionality or the structural viability of the project regardless of Studio Gang explanations… maybe with regards to the changing glass color and the frustum form-making they should have admitted they did it solely for decorative reasons but unlike the sublime Aqua balconies, there are no other functional or structural expression justifications to fall back on.. and I should probably repeat that I believe Lowenberg/Magellen are as much responsible for the final shortcomings of the overall project as anyone…

Finally, I have always personally felt that one of the civic duties of forums such as this is to provide a platform for dialogue and critique of the notable projects in our city and this is certainly a notable one… I am sure you will agree that we don’t necessarily want to be nothing but a cheering squad for a project based solely on its height, location, or architect? I believe that a building of this height, location, and stature should be held to a higher standard and should meet the same criteria of design and detailing as recent supertalls by Smith/Gill, Vinoly, SHoP, etc…. that is the high-profile standard I am basing my criticism on…
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  #8029  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 2:00 PM
BuildThemTaller BuildThemTaller is offline
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I can't believe someone would design a building that includes a highly visible homage to the aristocratic strata. The nerve!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...er_2016-41.jpg

Last edited by Tom In Chicago; Sep 3, 2021 at 4:40 PM. Reason: Please use hyperlinks for unsourced off topic images
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  #8030  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 2:40 PM
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When do we officially declare construction done and close the thread?

At this point, there's not really any visible progress being made on construction, and we are just rehashing the same arguments over the building's design.
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  #8031  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 2:59 PM
Ricochet48 Ricochet48 is offline
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Do they have plans to add a window cleaning mechanism? I just see long rope hanging off the western facade... seems tacky & dangerous.
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  #8032  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 3:00 PM
Dasylirion Dasylirion is offline
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Yes, please.
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  #8033  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 3:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrelfish View Post
When do we officially declare construction done and close the thread?

At this point, there's not really any visible progress being made on construction, and we are just rehashing the same arguments over the building's design.
The St. Regis hotel build-out is still going on, but we have yet to see any progress photos..I dunno if that counts
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  #8034  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 4:53 PM
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That is an amazing piece of architecture. I know cost is of concern nowadays to replicate something like that but in the olden days, architecture was just on a different level.

Its somewhat what happens when you remove or reduce the "manual labor" aspect of things and introduce fabrication and automation with portions of towers. One thing is for sure, like somebody knitting a sweater versus a machine doing it, you can never really replicate the painstaking detail on a manual level that was conducted in the olden days versus some of the stuff rising now.

And fun part is that some of those olden towers rose quickly and have unparalleled detail to them.

I mean they could replicate it but in today's age, would take to long and money is always of a concern.

I just hope the city continues to upkeep some of those gems. That's the nice thing with Chicago that not many cities in the world can say they have, a time line of the decades displayed in the skyline. Like an architectural time machine with respect to skyscrapers.
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  #8035  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 5:37 PM
BuildThemTaller BuildThemTaller is offline
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This tower is not the fall of western civilization. It's amazing from some angles and has some unfortunate features. It is not unlike One World Trade Center in that aspect. I can't get past the unfortunate treatment of the spire, but I rarely remark on it when I see it and I certainly don't care to wax eloquent about it on some forum ad nauseum. Our understanding of art and architecture changes over time. Many buildings age gracefully while others are fall out of favor in short time. The entire Brutalism movement fell out of favor but seems to have gained a renewed appreciation. Personally, I am glad to see St. Regis in the Chicago skyline and think it is a wonderful addition while understanding some of the criticisms.
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  #8036  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2021, 7:16 PM
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^^^

I think its a success because of how it blends with the urban fabric. Complements the river, complements the lake and works well with various type of lighting conditions throughout the year. A dark blue hue balancing out the river in the winter/fall and a more open, playful cyan in the summer/spring that again, goes well with the river. The angles and essentially how this tower morphs into a different tower depending on where your looking at it is a key feature. More blocky when viewed away from the water but more wavy when near the river and lake front. It's a trippy tower with many personalities IMO.
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  #8037  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2021, 7:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris08876 View Post
^^^

I think its a success because of how it blends with the urban fabric. Complements the river, complements the lake and works well with various type of lighting conditions throughout the year. A dark blue hue balancing out the river in the winter/fall and a more open, playful cyan in the summer/spring that again, goes well with the river. The angles and essentially how this tower morphs into a different tower depending on where your looking at it is a key feature. More blocky when viewed away from the water but more wavy when near the river and lake front. It's a trippy tower with many personalities IMO.
Chris: Thanks for a great post. Your said exactly what I think but in better words than I could ever say.

The thing I like about the five Chicago supertalls is that each is the perfect design for its site. If you ask people to pick their favorite a lot would say the Hancock building. And I don’t disagree. Driving south on North Lake Shore Drive, the view of the Hancock building is truly iconic. It’s impossible to imagine any of the other four supertalls at 875 No Michigan.

Or imagine the view of the Aon building looking north from Grant Park. Would any of the other supertalls work at the Aon site?

Or the view of Willis Tower looking north from Roosevelt and the river. Or from 18th St and the river.

These are my three favorite views of the Chicago skyline. And in the center of each view is the perfect supertall.

Now, there’s a fourth; the view of St Regis and the river, looking west from Navy Pier.

It wouldn't work at Wacker and Adams or 875 N Michigan, but for the reasons Chris explains, St Regis is a great building for its site at 363 E Wacker.

Thank you Ms Gang
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Last edited by TR Devlin; Sep 4, 2021 at 9:03 PM.
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  #8038  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2021, 9:11 PM
Dylan Dude Dylan Dude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooted Arborial View Post
-------------------

If you take the image above and move it to the top of your screen

to a point where the St. Regis is visually cut off at the level of the top floor of Blue Cross, you can get an idea of how much stronger a visual statement this building could

have been. By re-allocating the last frustum downward and the 2nd highest tower section upwards - say to about 310 meters - this could have been a much better building

visually. It also would have, almost certainly, eliminated the NEED for that gaping hole which will continue to reflect badly on the designers.

As it is, the last (highest) approximately 25 floors are the worst addition to the skyline of Chicago. They have been attenuated for the exclusive vanity of the people who can

afford them. It looks like a giant extended pinky finger and its main purpose is to make filthy rich people feel superior and further removed from the real fabric of the city.

Egotism has rendered itself a poke in the eye at the expense of the rest of the skyline.

-------------------
This negative nancy must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed lol all i see is a dope building, have some gratitude
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  #8039  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2021, 6:20 PM
ajradfotwo ajradfotwo is offline
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This tower definitely has a good side and a bad side and its a real shame that the bad side (with the louvers) is what most people will see but the good side of this building is truly spectacular.

Also I would add that while shooting the sh*t with the condo doorman, he seemed to hint that the St Regis Hotel won't be opening until Q2 of 2022.

original_42520e4d-de0e-4d2f-b1f7-7d0aa00cc60b_20210903_135309 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_153551 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_154013 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_153853 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_153846 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_153918 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_153953 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_154521 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
20210903_154652 by ajdrewster, on Flickr
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  #8040  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2021, 6:45 PM
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Q2 of 2022 is not that far away. I could see the hotel opening before Memorial Day, but hopefully, we'll see interior photos a lot sooner.
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