CCR Issue 9

Page 97

Willis Tower at a glance Willis Tower, Chicago Project details: A five-year, $500 million redevelopment covered 425,000 square feet of the building, which is the third tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Teams completed work on the interior and exterior of the building, including a five-story district at the base of the building that includes retail, dining and entertainment. The objective: The overarching goal for project architect Gensler was to create a building that was a more welcoming, warmer building. Class with Glass: Architectural glass manufacturer Bendheim delivered more than 2,700 square feet of materials for the project, and each brought distinct architectural objectives. Among the most unique was 300 square feet of backlit laminated glass along a staircase that creates a “red carpet” feel to the building.

and construction teams had to work with existing infrastructure. The numbers are overwhelming, including 43,000 miles of telephone cable, 25,000 miles of electrical cable and 25 miles of plumbing. There are more than 100 elevators moving 1,600 feet per minute. “We wanted the experience of the building to really feel like Chicago,’’ Luehring says. “There are so many different types of people in the city, and with Willis Tower being such an iconic building, it is a popular destination, especially for people who are visiting Chicago for the first time. It’s a great place for residents to show off their city and kind of get that cross section of all of Chicago in one place.” CCR Thomas Renner writes on building, construction and other trade industry topics for publications throughout the United States.