CHICAGO /PRNewswire/ - The Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) recently participated in the topping out of the Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago, along with The Trump Organization's Donald J. Trump and Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump. The 1,361-foot, large-scale, mixed-use tower stands at 401 N. Wabash Ave. in Chicago—the site of the former Chicago Sun-Times building. The tower marks the tallest building project in the United States since the SOM designed the Sears Tower, which was completed in 1974.
Upon completion in 2009, the new tower will also be the tallest residential building in North America with a 225-room Trump International Hotel, 472 residential units, 50,000 square feet of retail space, 868 parking spaces, restaurant, spa, lounges, and promenade. At 92 stories, the tower earns the prestigious distinction of becoming the fourth tallest structure as measured by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago, after the Sears Tower, Aon Center and John Hancock Center.
The building's design strategy contributes a number of unique architectural and urban designs to Chicago. Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago, offers a significant new addition to the Chicago skyline and changes the way in which individuals experience the Chicago River. The tower is the first major riverfront project in the central business district to take full advantage of its waterfront location. Shaped to reflect its orientation along the riverfront, the tower's width is sensitive to its surroundings. The south side of the tower parallels the bank of the Chicago River enabling the structure to connect with Chicago's north-south grid.
SOM has long been considered an industry leader in the design and engineering of high- rise and ultra-tall buildings. Bill Baker, structural engineer and partner in SOM's Chicago office, speaks of engineering innovation and architectural design as inseparable elements, especially when it comes to one of the tallest structures to be built in the last 30 years in the United States. "Tall building technology has become so much more sophisticated in the last few years. It's very exciting to work on a project where we're able to integrate advanced engineering techniques into such a multi-faceted, multi-use structure," notes Baker.
Adding to the tower's sculptural quality, the building's massing is lifted by 40 feet, opening up an expansive, landscaped promenade that steps down, like terraces on a hillside, for three levels, until it meets the Chicago River. This promenade establishes a pedestrian connection between Michigan Avenue and State Street. By providing public assembly spaces and retail activity at the river's edge, the tower will connect North Michigan Avenue with State Street and the Loop.
Through the synthesis of adjacent building fabrics and modulations the design of the tower will continue the tradition of modern architecture as a dominant force in Chicago. The tower relates to its neighbors through a series of setbacks, the first of which occurs on the east side of the tower, at a height that is essentially the same as the cornice line of the Wrigley Building to the east. The next setback is on the west side of the tower and relates to both the height of the residential tower to the north and Marina City, to the west. The third and final setback is on the east side of the tower and relates to the height of the IBM Building immediately adjacent.
Richard F. Tomlinson II, the SOM partner responsible for the management of the project, adds how adaptability has always been important to the client: "SOM collaborated with the Trump Organization to design a building that would respond to the market. Flexibility is key in any mixed-use business and residential environment. We agreed that the right building would be able to accommodate an evolving market. The resulting tower meets this goal."
About SOM Chicago
Founded in 1936, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is one of the world's leading architecture, urban design, engineering, and interior architecture firms. SOM's sophistication in building technology applications and commitment to design quality has resulted in a portfolio that features some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th century. Examples include the Sears Tower and John Hancock Center in Chicago; Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai; Canary Wharf in London; the Washington Mall and Constitution Gardens in Washington D.C.; and the Lever House in New York City. Currently, the firm maintains offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Source: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
For additional information, contact Amy Hawkinson, public relations coordinator of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP: (312) 360-4309, or Amy.Hawkinson@som.com.