Page 1


The-City-Not-Quite-Mile-Mile-High The thesis project Summer Semester 2007

Katarzyna Kozaczka Under the supervision and tutelage of:

Prof. Dipl. - Ing. Herbert Bühler Dr. Hab. Inz. Arch. Jacek Gyurkovich, Prof. PK

MSA – Münster School of Architecture WAPK – Wydział Architektury Politechniki Krakowskiej


1. Vorwort / Foreword ...7

2. A city ...11

3. The particular city ...19

- ... In the United States of America ...20

- … In the 21st state: Illinois ...28 - … Chicago ...30

4.Skyscrapers ...49


1. Chicago now ...65

2. The city in a building idea ...85

3. Skyscrapers in the XXI century ...101

4. How The-City-Not-Quite-Mile-High works? ...145

5. The last word …189

References ...196 Bibliography ...197 Graphic - sources ...198

…’ Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood… Make big plans… remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing asserting itself with ever growing consistency.’… Daniel Hudson Burnham

Vorwort Einen effektiven Stadtetwicklungsplan zu finden war immer ein Problem seitdem die ersten Siedlungen angelegt wurden. Stadtplanung bedeutet nicht nur Gegenwart, vielmehr muss sie auch ihren Schwerpunkt in der Zukunft setzen und die Entwicklung des Lebewesens, das eine Stadt ist, voraussehen. Im letzten Jahrhundert haben wir versucht, einen idealen Stadtplan zu entwerfen. Jetzt wissen wir, dass dies nicht funktioniert. Heutzutage müssen wir uns darauf konzentrieren, ein Konzept für eine ausgewogene Entwicklung der schon bestehenden Stadtstrukturen zu finden. Wir müssen großen Wert auf den ökologischen und ökonomischen Aspekt legen, dürfen aber auch den ästethischen und psychologischen Bereich nicht vergessen. Man darf den Fehler der Architekten der früheren Generationen nicht erneut begehen und die Menschen in Betonblocks einschließen. Derzeit tauchen aber solche Probleme auf, die man vor hundert Jahren nicht kannte – es gibt nicht mehr so viel Platz zum bauen innerhalb der Stadt; die städtische Struktur breitet sich in die Vororte aus; Luft und Wasser sind verunreinigt und wir zerstören mehr und mehr von den Grünflächen. Alle diese Sachen zwingen uns zum Nachdenken über die weit entfernte Zukunft, die wir jetzt schon berücksichtigen müssen. Vertikales Wohnen ist eine von den vorgeschlagenen Lösungen. Dies ist nicht so eine brandneue Idee, weil es schon Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts bei solchen großen Persönlichkeiten wie Frank Lloyd Wright oder LeCorbusier erwähnt wurde. Es geht hier nicht mehr um Hochhäuser, sondern viel mehr um die Vision von den Wolkenkratzern, die vertikal, hoch sind und wie eine Stadt funktionieren. Mein Entwurf ist genau solch eine Vision. Er ist nicht so hoch, wie Wrights, aber vorausgesetzt, dass das Gebäude

1/3 des The Mile-High Skyscraper ist, gehört es zu den höchsten Strukturen in der Welt. Dieses 529 m hohe Objekt steht an der Küste des Lake Michigans im Chicago Loop, Illinois, USA. Nach der Analyse der Stadtstruktur und Geschichte der Hochhäuser, die es in Chicago sehr viel gibt, habe ich mich entschieden, eine Stadt in meinem Gebäude und die Möglichkeiten, wie man dies mit der bestehenden städtischen Struktur verbinden kann, vorzuschlagen. Der Entwurf konzentriert sich nicht nur auf das Objekt, sondern versucht auch die Probleme, die bei einem solchen Projekt auftreten können, zu lösen.

Foreword The problem of finding the effective solution for the city development exists from the moment when first towns were settled. Urban planning and design are not only today’s problems – they bring issues that have to be foreseen for the future of a city – a living structure, which changes every single day. In the past century we tried to find an ideal city. It didn’t work out. Now, we should focus more on finding the recipe for sustainable development of already existing urban structures. We emphasize ecological and economical issues, but we can’t forget about the esthetic and psychological spheres, because no one wants to repeat mistake of locking people inside the concrete blocks. There are, though, problems which now seem to be more urgent and hundred years ago they were only a kind of abstract – no more space to build within the city boundaries; stretching the city structure to the suburbs, devastation of green areas and pollution. All of them should make us think very far ahead. Vertical living is one of the theories which could solve the problems we are dealing with right now. It is not such a fresh idea, though – in mid XX century it was already mentioned by such individuals as Frank Lloyd Wright or LeCorbusier. And it is not about the skyscraper only; it is now more about creating the structure which looks like a highrise but works like a city. My project is based on such a vision. It is not as high as Wright’s but presupposing the height of 1/3 of the Mile-High Skyscraper, I still place this structure in the top of the list of the highest buildings in the world, for now of course. This 529 meters high building is located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago’s Loop, Illinois, USA. After analyzing the long history of high-rises in Chicago and the city structure, I’ve decided to propose a city in the Building and

the ways of connecting it to the existing urban structure. Moreover, I’m trying to suggest possibilities of solving the problems which come with such an idea‌

The City

…“What is the city but the people?”… William Shakespeare

Cities are organized by the people and for the people. The idea of the city, from the very beginning, was to create a space that works with citizens who live within it. Our needs are changing and the cities are changing with them. First settlements were only about a place to sleep and eat – now we are taking into consideration our comfort, precious time, we are not only selling and buying – we are trying to subordinate nature… The question is – where is it all going? In ancient times, at the beginning, we can see people working and living their lives for gods only. Organization of their settlements was simple and directed strictly to “bigger” things. They wanted to satisfy spirits with enormous buildings which showed their power. When monarchy came, city became all about a monarch. It was no longer just a place to work for higher thoughts – Caesars for example were using it for fun. Single settlements, where they lived, provided entertainment and comfort. While citizens could actually take part in the events, it was normally meant to be for the master. At that point People were still thinking that a person who ruled the empire was someone more like a god than a human being. Back then the city centers were the combination of public spaces such as markets and squares and the churches – both of them were used rather seldom. Common resident didn’t have to go anywhere – he had his world going on among his family and his own house. The rest of the people used the city centers for special events more than for typical daily life. The city was glamorous and life was happening around it… What came in Middle Ages was freedom from customary rural obligations to lord and community. Towns and cities became more independent. They started to grow on the Hills for se

curity reasons – a little bit of freedom brought more possibilities of invasions. But now a city finally started to live for itself - residents where using its whole area. Of course, because of the landlords, they where not completely free but the biggest difference between ancient city and the one with fortresses and walls around them is that it is not anymore about anything “bigger” than life… In renaissance it became even clearer because of humanism and people like Dante Alighieri, who said “Monarchy is the world of peace. The goal of the country is to fulfill both materialistic and spiritual human needs”. In middle ages they didn’t care about how the city would look like – defense was the most important issue. It is clear that in next epoch life is more about joy and comfort and all that is quite visible in the way they treated even the town planning. Architecture started to be not only the way to express greatness of gods or lords but also ordinary, although rich people could afford to show their own appreciation of life… About that time comes the question: what do we really want from our lives? We created Baroque with its splendor and lots of details; we got back to classic architecture, then made it all neo-classical and ended up with a style which was supposed to be completely different than anything before it– art nouveau. From renaissance till modernism we were looking for the answer to: what is more important: form or the content? Starting with renaissance cities grew, education became more common and finally technology started to change everything into the machine for living. We want more and because of that we need more every single day, and there are attempts at finding the way to fix the mess that not even the past ages left in our urban environment, but which we have created by wanting more... The already mentioned “machine for living” proposed by LeCorbusier was the very first so visionary and yet very utopian idea of the ideal city. The architect has shown in his

project the appreciation of nature and a great deal of well used space but what he hasn’t taken into consideration was the human being – he himself was a rationalist and he simply assumed that 99% of people everywhere were the same. Though “Machine for living” was perfectly organized, it had no soul… The other way to clear the mess of urban development after industrial revolution came with LeCorbusier’s and other architects’ idea of creating an organization which was supposed to promote new architectural and urban theories of modernism. For almost 27 years CIAM (Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne) organized 10 conferences in different parts of the world and was some kind of hope for existing cities. But the only solutions they found had locked millions of people around the world in so called blocks of flats. “The Athens Charter” from the 4th congress in 1933 in Athens from functional city changed into strict plan of high apartment blocks and precise green belts separating zones in the city. Thank God it led to a lot of questions and doubts caused by somewhat sterile taste of that plan. By late 1970’s it occurred to many planners that modernist strict axes and lines and what’s more important lack of human scale was creating synthetic, insensate environment and neighborhoods. In many countries by then idea of erecting tower blocks disappeared but in Eastern Block it took a while longer to change this inhuman rage. By that time, of course, we find as well proposals such as Garden-City or Satellite-Cities which made their way to be actually considered as a possibility of an ideal city plan. But why were we looking for the one and only, perfect and so rigid structural scheme for urban development? What makes us think that there is a perfect plan…? Industrial revolution brought people to the cities. It required and ultimately carried out the urbanization spread. After the big boom ended, though, and the factories were being closed and residents were again unemployed, city cen-

ters started to become quite deserted and poor. At that moment we can probably place the beginning of first suburbs, where more wealthy citizens moved out after their neighborhoods got so needy. All ideas which surfaced in modernism were meant to help and heal cities environments but using them from time to time or only some pieces that would look good somewhere, didn’t really cure anything – it created even bigger mess. The waves of movements such as City Beautiful in United States of America brought by Daniel Hudson Burnham, showed how desperate architects were to change the way cities started to look like after the industrial revolution. The first attempt taken up by Burnham was actually satisfying and made some consequent changes in American urban planning. The City Beautiful was to achieve for American cities something approaching “cultural parity” with Europe’s great urban centers. It didn’t work the way it was supposed to, though… Burnham once said: “A noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die (…)” In Europe city centers were sophisticated even after the end of XIX century and the beginning of XX because there were still existing beautiful historical parts not only full of amazing architecture but also well planned and organized in past centuries. In America there was no urban tradition, no continuity. Europeans try to respect the context; we try to preserve what’s so splendid in our environment. But through the ages we’ve been creating the most extreme theories one can imagine. And where does it take us? We had the well-defined styles in architecture and in urban planning, but while in the buildings’ design it is good to have such a particular fashion somehow, in urban planning strict schemes are often more destructive than they appear to be at the moment they are created. The sustainable development is the new fashionable definition of modern urban planning movement. It may contain Principles of Intelligent Urbanism (PIU) which seem to be

Very accurate and contemporary even though they were first formulated by the CIAM. By that time it was the way to express Functionalism which converted into twisted idea of the already mentioned blocks of flats. After that, these 10 principles, concerning every aspect from street planning to sociological issues, were getting more and more defined and until now we have clear and logical guidelines, concerning aspects of esthetics, ecology, economy, sociology and even psychology. That, should make urban development much easier to control. And with control comes sustainable development which gives us an opportunity to change our environments into healthy and beautiful ones‌


‌In United States of America

…” Our, is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea”… John Gunther

The native people of the territory, which is now known as the United States of America, migrated from Asia. They began arriving at this land at least 12.000 and as many as 40.000 years ago (1). America in present days has 50 states, 1 federal district and 14 territories; it is the world’s third or fourth largest country by total area. The continental part stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, from Canada to Mexico and the habitat variety ranges from tropical to arctic. The United States has a capitalist mixed economy, which is fueled by natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity. According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States GDP of more than $13 trillion constitutes 20 percent of the gross world product. Only the collective GDP of the European Union is greater (2) . On October 17th 2006, the United States population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 300,000,000 (3) . On the American territory reside around 12 millions illegal immigrants. The country is well known to be a home for political runaways and people looking for a better life. The diversity of races and ancestry groups, size, economical status and number of possibilities make United States the most varied country in the world. America is famous for‌ almost everything.

The One dollar bill

The history of American architecture doesn’t reach as far into the past as the history of the other parts of the world, but there are few crucial moments that we are all subconsciously aware of. I would say, it is more or less because of American entertainment – we watch a Wild West movie – we catch that once Pueblo Peoples had been building their houses out of adobe which made them look like clay bungalows; we know where Santa Fe is and that there is a lot of Spanish colonial architecture, even though we don’t know what that means. Everyone has seen Gone with the Wind movie and everyone knows these English colonial aristocratic rural houses. And who hasn’t seen Rocky and those enormous stairs to neoclassical museum in Philadelphia? I won’t even mention the White House… We know what America has looked like for past ages. America is famous… But maybe not everyone knows, though, that in the XIX century fashion for Gothic came back. Neogothic brought by Andrew Jackson Downing in 1840s started to spread medieval decorations and a lot of references to famous European buildings. It turned out to be the most influential in the matter of churches, but also in the field of universities such as Yale or Harvard (which by the way, we all know). A famous example designed by James Renwick, Jr. is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the middle of Manhattan which is clearly a recall of Notre Dame in Reims or Cologne Cathedral.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral now

The very modern architecture in America is associated mostly with skyscrapers. Nowadays it is hard to define styles that are shaping our environment and it is also hard to specify every architecture office that counts in the world. To the most famous contemporary architectural characters of the USA market we can include: Asymptote, Frank O. Gehry, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Morphosis, Eric Owen Moss, Skidmore Owings and Merrill. America is Famous for its cities – there are no places like them in any other part of the world. They are big, colorful, powerful and glamorous – at least the parts they show on TV… The most populous place in U.S. is New York City with the population of 8.140.000 within city limits and 18.818.000 within the whole metropolitan area. After come Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia. These are the famous ones. But there are many places in the US which were polluted with postmodern architecture, places that look cheap and tacky, suburbs where mass-housing is so popular and cities where almost no one lives anymore…

Times Square, NYC

‌in the 21st State: Illinois

Illinois is located in the Midwest by the Lake Michigan. It is the most populous state in the area and the 5th in the country. The name of “microcosm of the United States” came from variety of territories: from rural areas, through small industrial cities, to the great metropolis of Chicago. Its central location and the fact that it stands between the great lakes and the Mississippi River, made it the transportation hub for over 150 years. The capital of the State is Springfield. The area ranges 150.000 km2…

… Chicago

Chicago’s grid

…” It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago – she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”… Mark Twain

Chicago after the Great Fire

Chicago was once called “the city of landmarks of daily use”. Its most famous buildings are the business ones, schools, houses and small churches. It is also called the “Windy city”, which comes from the typical wind that never stops blowing around the city. But actually the name “Chicago” originates from the French rendering of the Miami-Illinois name “shikaakwa” which means “wild leek” (1). The City is located in North-eastern Illinois at the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. The very beginning of Chicago started to built itself up along Chicago River. It is the largest metropolis in the state of Illinois. The whole area common known as Chicagoland has a population of over 9.5 million people living not only in Illinois but also in Wisconsin and Indiana. That makes it as well the 3rd metropolitan area in the United States (2). Chicago was founded in 1833, back then with a population of 350 and within 7 years it grew to over 4.000. On the 4th of March 1837 the City of Chicago was incorporated. In the early 1850s in comparison to other American cities Chicago was rather poorly developed - Small and mostly wooden houses were still being built along unpaved roads.

Chicago, Fort Dearborn 1856

First things that made the city grow were both Illinois and Michigan sewers which after all brought the plans of regulated water system created by the engineer Ellis Chesbrough in 1860s and at finally came the city’s great railroad system. Chicago’s structure has been developed predominantly along Lake Michigan’s coast and further inland – along Chicago River, as well. After a while, the streets started to appear, almost parallel to the river. After a publication of a legal act at the American Congress in 1785, they had to be organized in a distance of 1 mile. Next thing to come were of course the orthogonal streets, which all together created a grid typical for the United States. Until 1970s many “cottages” were settled around the city. Most of them were the kind of working-class districts with 1 storey family houses. Few of them are maintained almost the way they were back in the end of XIX century, for example Bridgeport on the south or Old Town on the north of the city. The moment the steam rail came to Chicago was a turning point for the development. Because of the fast traveling possibility, the new kinds of suburbs began to grow around the old city’s outline. The first one, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux strictly as a picturesque little cottage, was Riverside. It was not so bad that the city spread, because in 1871 the city center was caught by the Great Fire and was completely destroyed. The suburbs, though, the “pretty” ones and those for working-class, which contained most of the city’s industry, stayed mostly untouched. The fire demolished almost 1/3 of Chicago, starting near the cost of Lake Michigan. As far as such catastrophe is always tragic, Chicago really took advantage of it.

Chicago’s grid and the territory of the Great Fire

The money from the insurance and contributions from other cities, flowing straight to the city’s accounts, created a possibility for Chicago to finally catch up with its neighbors. Between the Great Fire and the First World War the City became a metropolis and a great industry power. By the end of XIX century the sewage system was already working, the electric trolley was a common communication system, Calumet harbor was settled and by 1890 one of the Chicago’s symbols – over ground rail known as “The L” came to life. In 1880s the history of skyscrapers begins. The tall building was then the one which had around four or five stories. Considering building techniques and of course human capabilities – people still had to go up and down to the highest level without lifts. Exactly in 1880 Werner von Siemens added an electric engine to the already existing elevator and that made a genesis of actual skyscraper’s structures. Chicago is not the first to have those very tall structures – New York had them already in 1870s, but it is indeed Chicago’s Loop which had been remembered as the first part of the world reaching for the clouds. It was also caused by the famous Chicago school which lasted between 1880s and 1890s. Buildings that represent this style have wide windows in a typical grid and a very limited amount of exterior ornament. Many of them follow the partition of a classical column which means they have a base created by the first floor, a shaft of the middle stories and a roof forming a capital. The most crucial issue, though, was the statement that “Form follows function”.

The electric trolley in 1900

First high-rise buildings were constructed because of the introduction of the new building techniques of cast iron, steel and reinforced concrete. The offices of William Le Baron Jenny, Burnham & Root, Holabird & Roche and Adler & Sullivan were the leaders in using these new constructions. The rapid progress in city development brought a modern infrastructure and an increase of the downtown’s plot’s costs. That finally led to another migration phase. There was a big gap between newly created suburb for poor and for wealthy people. For every kind of them different types of family housing were produced. Another important issue was the development of green spaces. The places like Jackson Park or Lincoln Park were created for as the places they can run away to from the crowded city. In 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition made Chicago very famous in United Sates. It became clear to the planners that American urbanism was in a bad shape. The City Beautiful movement, started that year, brought Chicago a new kind of arrangement that was derived from Baroque. In combination with the Chicago Plan created 16 years later in 1909, the City Beautiful changed downtown’s urban structure to more than a visual challenge.

The Home Insurance Building 1885

Between the First and the Second World War people became more mobile than ever before. Because of that, transport infrastructure started to spread and with it, so did the city. The density factor away from downtown finally became really low. The next phase of Chicago’s development was organization of the Midway airport which once opened in 1927 quickly started to be the most frequently used in the country. Fresh commercial routes came with built bridges all around the city and Chicago finally started to grow its own business district, filled with office buildings. The new airport had been built and a lot of new suburbs had been settled. There is this vicious circle that still lasts – the more cars we have, the more roads we build – the more roads we build, the more suburbs are around the city – the more suburbs we found, the more cars and roads we need. That basically is how Chicago worked back then and how it still is working.

Lake Shore Drive

Next boom in development of downtown Chicago came in 1950s and at that point we find the beginning of the most significant skyscrapers ever built in the Windy City. The most famous ones built at that time and also for a very long time the highest two structures in the city, designed by the office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, are Sears Tower and Hancock Center. A lot of old housing districts in Chicago were destroyed after 1960s. It was more about demolishing and building new apartment buildings than about restoration the old ones. But at the same time few quarters close to the downtown were miraculously renewed, thanks to upper-class residents who found it stylish to live in the old parts but near to the business district.

Sears Tower


It depends on the country’s regulation how high the building has to be to be called a High-Rise. Emporis Data Committee regulates it to 35m. But it is not to be confused with the term of Skyscraper which first came out with buildings constructed in 1870 in the USA. Though, as mentioned before, the first to use steel and reinforced concrete for more then 5 stories were buildings in New York, the beginning of Skyscrapers history sets itself in Chicago in 1880s. However in 1893 in Windy City the law restricted the height of the buildings to 40m, which closed the city for further investments in tall buildings. But that was again an opportunity for New York to shine. There were new construction techniques, but still not so much new in design aspect of the early XX century skyscrapers. One of the first considered as an actual skyscraper is Flatiron which is 87m high and was completed in 1902. The idea of neoclassicism was about to be joined with modern structures – that led to Cathedral of Commerce with an example of the Woolworth Building in NYC designed by Cass Gilbert in 1914. Finally the height of the buildings started to bother the citizens and in 1916 in New York the 1st Zoning Law was passed which said: “the more a building was set back towards the top, the higher it was allowed to rise” (1). It created a kind of “wedding-cake” style that is for example represented by Barclay Vesey Building in NYC designed by Voorhees, Gmellin and Walker in 1926.

Woolworth Building, NYC

Next to come was the so called American Style of skyscrapers. Taking into consideration the Zoning Law, buildings had to reduce their floor area with the set-backs sometimes even 4 times. At that point one of the most famous of American skyscrapers was built with the limits of proven steel – the Empire State Building, 448m high to the very top of the antenna, designed in the modern Art Deco style by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon in 1931. It was the tallest building of the whole world until 1972. It was surpassed by the North Tower of the World Trade Center and the Sears Tower. In 1930 though, another masterpiece was erected, also in NYC – the Chrysler Building, 319m high, also in Art Deco style designed by William Van Alen. Around 1940s comes Modernism. The most important characters of those days are Walter Gropius and Mies Van der Rohe. They came from Europe and there Modernism had been already living for a while. In Europe the skyscrapers were still not really popular but the new building techniques were already well known. The Rockefeller Center built in NYC in 1940 was one of the first examples of the so called International Style, which was a way to find simple lines with references to technologies and functionalism.

Chrysler Building from Empire State Building

Continuing his job, Mies van der Rohe created 15 skyscrapers in Chicago. The very first was the complex of two buildings on Lake Shore Drive completed in 1949. They were the pioneers in curtain wall façade history. The Seagram Building in New York, which van der Rohe designed with Philip Johnson in 1958, was probably the prototype of the modern office towers and the first to follow new zoning regulations which proclaimed that not only the top of the high-rise is important, but also the bottom part – from then on every single skyscraper had to set back from the property line to create a plaza in front of it. Before the contemporary architecture in America there was still Postmodern style. It was the style that changed everything; brought to the cities buildings which forms, proportions and colors were completely overdrawn.

Lake Shore Drive Apartments

tThe difference between Europe and America back then, and in many places still now, was that in the US skyscrapers were erected in the city centers. On our continent, because of a historical context it was really undesired to try to fit such an “unnecessary” structure into the old town. We create new clusters, such as Canary Warth in London or we build high-rises on the outskirts of the city centers, as La Defense in Paris. The only city in Europe that has actual American kind of downtown is Frankfurt am Main. And in this place also stands the highest skyscraper in this part of the world – Commerzbank – 259m high designed in 1997 by Foster and Partners. While La Defense fulfills its role, the Canary Wharf cluster doesn’t and most of the contemporary high-rises in London are being built more or less in the city center. They are not so high, though. There are no modern structures in Europe that could compete with those in America, or most recently in Asia or United Arab Emirates. Most European skyscrapers are the office buildings. Until 1980s in Europe there were no signs of modern, light-weight structures which in US were already common. Right now, except the actual height, skyscrapers don’t really differ in Europe and in America.

Frankfurt am Main

Canary Wharf

La DĂŠfense

The highest buildings in the world – height to a roof

The highest buildings in the world – height to a pinnacle

Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.� Albert Einstein

Chicago now

Nowadays Chicago is the 3rd most-populous city in America with the population of nearly 3.000.000 people. But the area called the Chicago-land, which reaches from the south parts of Wisconsin to the north parts of Indiana, has almost 9.500.000 inhabitants. And that makes it also the 3rd biggest metropolitan area in the country.

For a random person, Chicago is famous for Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears… Some may associate this city with Wrigley Field, which is actually the stadium of Chicago Cubs; Chicago’s The L; Chicago River dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day; Water Tower as one of a few buildings that survived the Great Fire; Sears Tower… But there are things in the city that are changing and some spots that never have been occupied are now the most popular. Like Millennium Park with Pritzker Music Pavilion designed by Frank O. Ghery with 400 fixed seats and a lawn with free place to sit for almost 7.000 people. There is the Cloud Gate in the middle of the park which is a redeveloped part of old Grand Park. This place in combination with the last stop of Metra train and CTA at Roosevelt Street next to the park, and of course with the most important commercial path – Michigan Avenue – this is the heart of the city life right now…

The L

The Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park

The Cloud Gate, Millennium Park

After analyzing Chicago’s Loop there are no quick answers. This is a kind of city where everything happens and sometimes for no reason. When the City Beautiful movement changed the way of urban planning, it finally started to be not only about the 1mile grid, but also about axes, views, open spaces etc. Still, American cities grow any way they want, more or less - there are no height limits, especially in places like Chicago or New York. Of course we’re talking about business districts here… Chicago’s The Loop is the second largest business district in the US, right after Midtown Manhattan. After the Great Fire, when the city was being rebuilt, buildings providing offices for the growing Chicago’s market, started to rise quite evenly to the north and south from Chicago River. Even on the map we can see that the river is somehow a boundary on the west side and it takes an honorary center place in river basin. When we look from Lake Michigan it is almost clear for us that the river makes some kind of a gate into the city… Although, the legal boundaries of business district are different - even the heights of the buildings change after crossing the Chicago River. There are 3 buildings considered as the highest ones: Sears Tower (442.3m) on the south of The Loop, AON Center (346.3m) almost next to the rivers basin and John Hancock Center (343.5m) on the north. Also there seem to be 3 points where heights are increasing and they all are located around these 3 buildings. Around The Loop we may find places where few buildings have 5 stories and next to them there is one that has 40. There are no rules… but I did compare Chicago to New York and there is no difference. I am not sure if this is right or wrong, but from my personal experience I would say I find American cities more exciting than European ones – there is always this surprise factor which in Europe, by sticking to those strict rules, is completely impossible to achieve. The same applies to different functions, which in Europe

are nowadays also spreading all over a city center. It is well known that Michigan Avenue is the most glamorous street in The Loop, but still, wherever you go, there is everything you need. Funny example of America’s finest Starbucks Coffee houses – they are around every single corner in downtown Chicago, hundreds of them and once you step out of the business district – you find one maybe every 5km. The Loop is somehow like a giant mall and there are no separate residential or office quarters – it all plays within ground level and higher levels of towers. But there are special places – the green ones. When you walk around the city center you can fill the actual lack of greenery. Chicago has no New York’s Central Park; there are only little patches among all the buildings where you can sit under the tree or even on the grass. The Grand Park was always an important point in the city but right now a little of its fame was passed to the new Millennium Park. This place became the crucial point in the tourist movement: it is located on the corner of Michigan Ave and Randolph Street which are one of the most frequently used pedestrian paths; on Randolph Street is the last stop of Metra trains and the stop for 4 of 7 lines of The L trains; next to it stands AON Center and 4 more buildings higher than 200m and it is right by the lake shore. The Millennium Park may soon be considered as the heart of the city…

The city in a Building idea

It was his idea, even though there are those who suggested that we should live in vertical structures, he was the one who drew it on the piece of paper and wrote and essay containing all solutions to the problems we may have with building such a vision. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 – 1959) – the pupil of Louis Sullivan and the father of American Prairie Style.

Frank Lloyd Wright

In 1956 the highest building in the world was Empire State Building which is smaller than a quarter of the height suggested by Wright. It was a vision, but somehow founded on very precisely shown solutions to possible problems. It was supposed to have approximately total population of 130.000 inhabitants. That is a city… The architect wrote in his summary: …” in general: The ILLIONIS is divided into four parts, and is reached at four points by four lane approaches. Fountain features and green-planted parterres are thus related to the tripod entrances, each independent of the other. The riveted or welded steel framing of the XIX century has been abandoned. All this well done, this great XX century edifice will be more permanent than Pyramids.”… The building was envisioned to have “the entire structure more airplane in character than the usual heavy XIX century building” (1). Wright was even suggesting how the metal parapets should be set over the glass surfaces to avoid glare and to bring some sense of protection on such heights. But the most interesting idea was the elevators which were supposed to be five-stories high each and driven by atomic power.

The Illinois

I have been analyzing the idea of the city in a building for a while now and what occurs to me is that there is one group of ordinary people who are fascinated by it and the other one which is absolutely against it. Amongst architects it looks pretty much the same. After September 11 in NYC more than a half of population is terrified by the fact that one day we are going to live in enormous structures which will be only threats for ourselves and another way to complicate the world, and make it finally easier to destroy. But history teaches us, it is human way to get used to some things that at the beginning seemed very complicated… Of course one may say that people are not supposed to live on such heights, but it is not for everyone still and I doubt that it would ever become so – there is always the earth surface to live on. On us, right now, depends how design approaches of very high buildings will develop themselves to make this way of living normal and satisfying. There are researches being conducted on this issue, but still most of existing resources are old and deal only with single aspects that we need to consider. Psychological response to tall buildings is even more important because “some building types are more sensitive than the others” (2) and skyscrapers are at the top of that group. A building lives because of the people who use it. At 120th floor a person feels fear even if he doesn’t recognize the feeling. It comes with lack of control and that leads to stress, which makes the living uncomfortable. Safety issues are hard to explain – mega-size makes it hard to understand. The sense of place is missing because all we can see around are clouds and small buildings, and there are no visible human beings anymore and this feeling of being so, so far from the earth surface… A sustainable design of high-rises gives us an opportunity to respond to all of these issues. Of course, we can’t really do anything with the view, but why shouldn’t it be the most amazing thing of all?

There is a problem of the lack of dynamism, which comes from people who are afraid that top-down model will look like those heavy concrete blocks of flats – flats like in “The 5th Element”, where finally cars where flying in front of the windows. It is an important matter of design to make people feel comfortable inside the building, as much as to make them like it from outside. Inside we can create an environment that will cause people to like the place and take their minds off the fact that they are so high. It is proven that there are great psychological benefits from close contact with nature and it is not so impossible to bring this nature inside. While focusing ones attention on the inside, we should also provide a possibility to look outside. People need to see that they are not trapped. And there is always the need of daylight: “people want (and overestimate) natural light” (3). The sustainable design has to deal with the fact that most residents are not even aware of the natural energy resources, or the ways to save the energy, as well. It is all possible and not so complicated, but the problem comes when it is left in tenants’ hands. People are not responsible, they don’t think about environment every single second – the systems of energy savings fail. Now it is up to us to make it all as much electronically controlled as we can. If people are afraid of boring blocks of flats, why shouldn’t we give them a building with wide variety of space use? But isn’t it really the city in a building then? It is not about creating new administrative unit and changing the laws – it comes naturally, because we have already spent so much time finding the way to plan the ideal city that it makes no sense looking for another way to arrange a building that has thousands of tenants – it is a small city… The only question left is: how to connect this new structure with the existing one?

4oo Lake Shore Drive, 60605 Chicago, Illinois, is the place that makes an opportunity to challenge the idea of the city in a building. As I already mentioned, the present city started to grow from the Chicago River which in its basin from Lake Michigan creates a kind of a gate, and the plot is located exactly on the right side of it. This makes it special from architect’s point of view and unconsciously from the everyone else’s. For a random person this site is also interesting, because together with Du Sable Park it is a small and weird peninsula cut by Lake Shore Drive’s flyover. It is surrounded by water from 3 sides: east by Lake Michigan, north by Ogden Slip and south by Chicago River. Uill now there has been only one way to access the plot – from the EN Water Street, both for cars and for pedestrians. There are no other visual axes related to this site, except for the one which goes straight to the middle of it from Columbia Drive.

It is not easy to connect such place with the rest of the city. This site is a part of the Loop, which could make it extremely busy, but there is only one way to enter it and that makes it unpopular. When you decide to erect a 520m high building that would be the highest one in Chicago and moreover in the whole US, you have to consider it as an attraction even if it is supposed to be just a residential tower. Because of its height it will be visible probably from almost everywhere in the city… What I wanted to achieve in my project was a compilation of easier access to the plot and the building itself, and a connection between the City of Chicago and the City in the new Skyscraper. Because of that I created two footbridges, both elevated in order not to occupy the space of roads and pedestrian paths, and also as reference to the famous “L”. The green bridge is a connection to the city’s public spaces – it comes from Randolph Street and Millennium Park and changes into the regular bridge over the Chicago River to access the building, mark the foyer, go straight up on the north side of the building with a group of public elevators, reach the end of the office part and spread on the whole 35 floors of public use, and then shrink again into only elevators which lead to the roof part – this is how I have brought the city into the building… The yellow one is a connection to the city’s green spaces – it comes from Ogden Plaza through Du Sable Park, changes into regular bridge over the Lake Michigan and ends at Navy Pier Park. On its way it enters the building – on the second floor of the foyer it reaches the central elevator and then climbs up all the way to the roof. From time to time it spread across the floor creating balconies with the greenery – this is how I have brought nature into the building…

Skyscrapers in the XXI Century

The idea of a skyscraper is different now than in XX century – now we can create almost any kind of form, shaped so extremely and unpredictably that it is only a question: what kind of taste do we have? Not only in the USA, Asia or Europe there is a lot going on in high-rise matter –United Arab Emirates is now a very popular place where so many tall buildings are being built, and what is more important – the highest-to-be building of the whole world is about to be finished in 2008 in Dubai. Burj Dubai – 643.3m high to the roof – is designed by the office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill from Chicago. The idea of this particular building comes from way back – the MileHigh looks very alike…

20 Fenchurch Street, London, arch. Rafael Vinoli

The Legs, UAE, Aedas Architects

Tour Phare, Paris, Morphosis

Since Mies van der Rohe has made his first curtain façades in skyscrapers it was absolutely clear that this was the way to build tall buildings. There are, though, new kinds of lightweight structures which are used now. British architect Sir Norman Foster for instance uses steel triangle or diamond frames, which improve stiffness of the façade. This specific form allows also allows for the glass panels to be much larger than when they are right angled. The most popular high-rise in London – the so called “gherkin” or just Swiss Re Building, 18m high, designed by Foster and Partners and completed in 2004 – is one of the best examples of what we have achieved in the field of curtain façades. And not only considering the kinds of glass and how different system we use right now – it is also well known nowadays that we are trying to create some weird shaped structures and Swiss Re is a proof that we actually can construct a skyscraper which is not only rectangular.

Swiss Re Building, London

The form of the building I have designed is not really complicated but it isn’t a regular block, either. The structure looks like the exterior façade would be whole made out of bent glass, but the truth is most of the glass sheets are straight except for their upper and lower edges, which are in fact rounded, and of course – the corners. The construction of this particular light-weight, openworked façade is formed by steel tie-beams secured in the ceilings and linked with each other with rectangular glass panels. The exterior glass sheets are connected to the construction parts by spider-holders that hold the pieces together the way it is not seen from the outside. A very important thing is the kind of glass that is used in the façade. To create particular kind of effect there are 2 types of glass – transparent and translucent. Both of them, 2m high, depending on which part of the building they are used on, are either white or green. The transparent sheets, proposed by the OldCastel Glass®: - (6mm) Pilkington White/Clear Eclipse Advantage tm Reflective Low-E #2 - (6mm) Pilkington green Eclipse Advantage tm Reflective Low-E #2 The translucent sheets are simply screen-printed white or green colors with Low-E foil.

En example of the screen-printed white glass, Dornbirn, Austria

Another improvement which came with light-weight façades are double ones. It is already rather necessary to build tall buildings with two layer façades. Until now, as far as the matter of wind is concerned, there have been no perfectly designed buildings. For skyscrapers this is one of the most important issues and it is clear that the higher the buildings, the more dangerous it is for them to swing. One of the problems that double façade is supposed to partially solve is the possibility for the wind to diffuse a little – with two layers where one is opened and the other closed and thermal proof, wind doesn’t hit the façade so strong directly. Another way to improve a building by adding one extra layer on it is a chance to integrate the natural ventilation system with the existing one inside the structure. It makes a building more environmental friendly and cheaper in use of course. By making a façade of glass with Low-emissivity, we can reduce ventilation costs to minimum. A good example of interesting use of double façade is Post Tower in Bonn – 162.5m high, designed by Murphy und Jahn and completed in 2002. The building has two cores and in between there is a space filled with sky-gardens and communication system. An interesting idea comes with this space – the whole building is enveloped by the external façade but only those two cores have the second layer – that means that in the gardens there is provided only natural ventilation.

Deutsche Post Tower, Bonn

I have joined two ideas in my project to improve natural ventilation system: the green spaces and double faรงade. The yellow balconies, which disperse on the floors, are directly connected with the balconies between internal and external facades. That creates a possibility of little openings, in the second faรงade parts, that allow the air to circle around the green parts of the building.

As far as we know from previous researches, it is better to build the apartment towers with reinforced concrete and the office buildings with steel structures. It is well known and proven that steel is more flexible and buildings made only with steel swing easier, which is definitely not good, not only for the high structures but also for people who live in them. But it is also obvious that concrete is much heavier than steel. Moreover, we are aware of the fact that steel high-rises were always higher than concrete ones. Now however, with developing era of production, transportation, formwork and ways to strengthen the material, a solution exist for the matter of basic construction, as well. The most recent and the highest work based on composite concrete construction is Taipei 101 – completed in 2003, designed by C.Y.Lee, 449.2 high skyscraper, which until now is the tallest building in the world (considering the height to the roof). Amongst different innovations, like the largest counterweight ever used in such a building or the fastest elevators ever installed, there is also the fact that it hasn’t been built using only one of two popular construction methods – instead, the composite construction was used. It is the way of joining both of them together, to reduce crosssections of the elements, so that at the same time they could be longer – steel pipes filled with concrete or steel profiles in concrete columns.

Taipei 101, Taiwan

528,5 meters to the roof is the height that until now has never been achieved. I have designed my skyscraper in the modern reinforced concrete technology, using also the ideas derived from nanotechnology. I propose 4 different ways to strengthen, almost typical, class-120, reinforced concrete: 1. To overcome concrete’s natural weakness in tension I have suggested the use of prestressed concrete, which is a very accurate material for floors in high-rise buildings. 2. To reduce cross-sections of vertical elements I have suggested the composite columns – here, concrete pillars with steel frames. The columns start with 1.50 x 1.00 meters section (composite ones) in the underground parking and end with 0.50 x 0.35 meters section on the highest levels (typical reinforced concrete ones). 3. To extend the length of common balconies in building and to free space in the garage, I suggested the use of Cobiax® reinforcement. Cobiax® is a technologies group created in Switzerland. They invented an innovative flat slab system which allows having spans up to more than 20m (with thickness around 60cm). It can be achieved by reduction in mass without reduction in load bearing capacity (1). 4. To secure 520 meters high structure with different loads I suggested the intervention of nanotechnology. Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs), discovered in 1952 by Radushkevich and Lukyanich are allotropes of carbon – one-atom thick sheets of graphite, rolled up into a cylinder with the diameter of “nano” range and the length in macro range (2). They are one of the strongest and stiffest materials known, and could upgrade the building construction technology to a new level.

Even though the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center complex were completed in 1973, they still have something interesting that has never been used before. These famous buildings that were destroyed on September 11, 2001 were 417.0m and 415.0m high, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, Emery Roth & Sons in 1966. When the first tower was completed, for the next 2 years it was the highest building in the world, but then was surpassed by Chicago’s Sears Tower. Both of the Towers had the same structural scheme: the core which supported the weight of entire building and the façade build of 240 steel columns joined together into the Vierendeel trusses, which made the façade much stronger and more wind resistant which means the wind forces were mostly kept on the façade’s structure, rather than transferred through the floor to the core. The Vierendeel trusses are additionally helpful because of their geometry which doesn’t wide openings on the façade. The other innovation, which not so long ago was used as well to improve the vertical communication in Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, was the elevator’s system inspired by New York’s Subway system and sky lobbies. While in WTC Towers there were only two types of lifts, by which I mean express and local ones, in Petronas Towers there are three different kinds of lifts: shuttle (express) and two other transporting people to even or uneven floors.

World Trade Center, NYC, 1960s

As in the previous examples, in my skyscraper I had to design the perfectly working system of elevators. Because of variety of functions, I divided it into 3 groups and 2 subgroups: 1. Express: - Commercial: 2 central elevators from the foyer to the roof-garden - Non-commercial: the cargo/fire-fighting elevator also from the foyer to the roof-garden 2. Shuttle: - commercial: • from the foyer to the green/commercial part • within the green/commercial part • from the green/commercial part to the roof-garden - non-commercial: • from the foyer to the end of the green/com mercial part • from the green/commercial part to the roof- garden 3. Local: - commercial: • within the green/commercial part - non-commercial: • within the office part • within the residential part Of course, different lifts have required different features. They all are hydraulic, but they travel from 5 to 15 m/sec; they have one-, two- or even three-decks in one shaft; depending on the commercial or non-commercial status, fire fighting protection and on the location, they can be panoramic or typical, build-up in the concrete shaft. While traveling in the building, people change to the shuttle elevators on the sky-lobbies that are situated at the beginning and end of the green/commercial part.

Another issue that is recently considered important for the design of high-rise buildings is the concept of the environmental friendly building. With our present technology and knowledge we can make buildings that use every kind of natural energy resources. In America, like in any other country nowadays, there is an authority for that: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which certificates buildings in consideration of the so called Green Architecture issues. These issues incluude:


Sustainable sites Water efficiency Energy and atmosphere Materials and resources Indoor environmental quality Innovation and design process


One of three golden rated by LEED, in New York City, is Hearst Tower – 182m high, designed by Foster and Partners and completed in 2006. The new 46 storey structure is the continuum of the old 6 storey high William’s Randolph Hearst company building. The main reason that this new highrise got its certification is usage of 85% of old interior structure steel elements. Moreover, the Low-E glass was used for the whole façade, which makes the indoor spaces well lit but not too warm. The idea of rain water treatment, which is actually not so surprising anymore, here it became an opportunity to create the water cascade in the atrium, which brings the humidity into the air-conditioned interiors. There is also one big innovation in this field – huge windmills designed as the parts of green skyscrapers. It is till now only an idea considered in some projects but who knows how fast this is going to work…

Hearst Tower, NYC

The Cor, Miami, arch. Chad Oppenheim

The Castle House, London, Hamilton Architects

To achieve the perfect combination of a well working plan and systems required within the building, I used all of the natural energy sources: Sun. On the south faรงade, on the green/commercial part of it, instead of translucent glass I designed photovoltaic belts. They change the sunbeams into efficient energy which can be easily used within the building. On the other parts of the south faรงade I used tube collectors as a supplement of heating system. Another improvement is the maximal usage of daylight. In order to that I had to reduce the amount of balconies around the floors, so that the sun can penetrate the larger part of interior. I also used an intersection in the center of the south faรงade with completely transparent glass and the delicate sky-gardens, which open up inner space for the sun. The whole idea of the building is to get as much transparency (or at least translucency) as it is possible, to allow the sun to slide into every possible corner. It means that except for the concrete construction, almost everything else is made of glass. Water. There are systems in every kind of a building where we can use purified waste water. In this skyscraper it was very important mostly because of the office part where heating and cooling systems use a lot of water. Two enormous water tanks located on the roof-garden supply not only the office floors, but also the sanitary system in the whole structure. Wind. As for the wind, it provides the natural ventilation system and while it is not the energy source, it allows saving the artificial energy.

The “form follows function” rule had its reflection in my project, as well. First idea was to lead the green commercial element through the building and let it join the first and the last level, because both of them are for wide use for tenants and for visitors at the same time. This idea shaped the building; everything else came with my adoration of minimalism and additional studies of Chicago’s buildings’ forms. The accents of colors and different than in other skyscrapers materials, was the way to persuade people to the building. The roundings were based on the same idea – they make the building looks not so rough. Its enormousness fascinates but also scares a lot. Sometimes I think that a structure which looks like a plastic toy make people happy and that’s what I wanted to achieve – a plastic tall building…

Working on the form

How ‘The-City-Not-Quite-Mile-High’ works?

The building is divided into 4 main functional parts: • garage • offices • commercial • residential Total area of the building: 268 468 m2 Parking - floor area: 6 324m2 Parking - floors: 9 Parking - total area: 44 268 m2 Floor – typical area: 1 740 m2 Floors – total amount: 130 Foyer floors: 2 Foyer - total area: 3 220 m2 Office - floors: 27 Office – total area: 45 240 m2 Commercial - floors: 35 Commercial – total area: 60 900 m2 Apartments - floors: 53 Apartment – total area: 92 220 m2 Penthouse - floors: 5 Penthouses – total area: 8 700 m2 Technical - floors: 6 Technical – total area: 10 440 m2 Sky-lobbies - floors: 3 Sky-lobbies – total area: 5 220 m2 Roof garden total area: 1740 m2 More than 9000 people can stay in the building at one moment.

The garage building has 2 floors above the ground and 7 underground ones. -7, -6 and -5 floors are equipped with double-deck parking mechanisms. There are 2160 parking spaces provided within the garage area: - 550 spaces for inhabitants (225 double-decks) - 554 permanent spaces for employees (227 doubledecks) - 1056 non-permanent spaces

Cobiax速 column-less parking

The foyer is a “business card� of every building – there are people coming in through it, going out and waiting. It must be essential and attractive. In my design I used both of the proposed pedestrian bridges to lead visitors into this particular place. The green one, which in the north part of the foyer marks the commercial shuttle elevators, comes into the building on the lover level of the foyer. The yellow one comes on the +4.00m level and spread itself as the first of sky-bridges inside the building. On the lower level opened space is used for the exhibitions, and waiting area at the same time. The upper level is more frequently used for communication.

The office part of the building is designed for open-spaceoffices. It is strictly organized to provide as much daylight into the 12m deep rooms, as it is possible. The Finishing of the office spaces provides double floor construction to facilitate arrangement of the office equipment.

Vitra New Office

The mixed commercial use will be organized in the 3rd main part of this structure. It is provided for hotels, salons, shops, pubs, restaurants, movie theaters and any other commercial activity centers. I suggested a plan of the small hotel’s floor. It creates an opportunity for an interesting idea of one of the Tablet’s Hotels design in Copenhagen – The Fox Hotel, where every room was designed by the different artist. This could be a pearl of the building commercial part and the city’s most interesting hotel ever.

The biggest, residential part of the building is divided into two categories: • apartments • penthouses The idea of the apartments in this particular building is very simple – there is as much open space, opened to the windows, as it is possible. The depth of the rooms which need daylight is no more than 6m. All of the apartments are organized to have the cross-airing possibility. The area of one floor apartments ranges from 100m2 to 190 m 2. The last 5 non-commercial floors of the building are penthouses. They are the luxury apartments, with one or two floors, with the most spectacular view and other privileges like the additional permanent parking spaces, for example. Their design is more or less based on the same scheme as typical apartments’ but because the windows area is much wider and it is always on the corner of a building, there is a possibility to open the living room, kitchen, dining room etc. and merge them into the one big space full of daylight. The area of one floor penthouse is approximately 350 m2.

The roof-garden is the finial of my project. The green bridge/ commercial use eventually reaches the top of the building, where, when the weather is good, visitors can watch Chicago from the highest point in the city. The design of the garden is a tribute to minimalism and contains only grass, concrete, glass and 4 solitary trees. The inspiration for such a plan was the roof garden of MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art in NYC) which is a very popular place and very often used as a roofless gallery as well. Not only it is the smooth way to bring art into the commercial use, but also it is the way to connect the first and the last level of this high-rise. The water tanks located on the roof collect water for the sanitary and heating systems, but they are also a part of the garden’s design and a surprising attraction.


I’ve designed the installations basic scheme based on four shafts that are parts of the building core at the same time, and 6 technical floors. The way that particular installations spread on the floor depends on the floor’s use. I suggested the standard convector cooling and heating system for the foyer because it is an open space – this system requires suspended ceiling where the pipes could be installed and spread over 3220m2. There is the false floor as well to spread other installations. The apartments and penthouses have the static heating near the windows and fresh air supply integrated into a suspended ceiling. For better cooling and additional heating performance, the tenant can install the fan coil devices. The ventilation system is installed in WCs, bathrooms and kitchens. There is an additional floor layer (footfall insulation) added to install the cabling ducts and provide outlets for all appliances. In the hotel rooms there are heating convectors at the floor level beneath the windows, and also static heating surfaces in bathrooms. The fresh air is supplied in the form of downdraft cooling and comes from the door and ceiling area. The exhausts of spent air are located in bathrooms. Both apartments and hotel rooms have systems that can easily be regulated in every particular room. In the offices, though, I suggest cooling of concrete masses using an active cooling water system (with the recycled rain water as well), integrated into the ceilings. For heating, warm water is conducted through the pipe system, warm the concrete masses, which in turn radiate thermal energy into the room and raise the room temperature (1). This system does not allow tenants to regulate it, but it is more efficient than typical air conditioning, because it uses grey water, does not create drafts, which are a common cause of colds, and does not make any noise, which is important for good work environment. Moreover this system works with three different

operating levels: heating, cooling or “downtime” when natural ventilation comes along, which increase energy savings. The offices have double floor system with almost 50cm free space to achieve a flexible access to electrical power. This way all workstations are equipped with connections to information and data communication system. The building works with CHP systems (Combined Heat and Power) which generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. the contrasts with the common practice of separate heat and power (SHP) where electricity is generated at a central power plant, while on-site heating and cooling equipment is used to meet non-electric energy requirements, is that CHP has an efficiency of 85% while the separate systems have a combined efficiency of only 45%. The thermal energy recovered in a CHP system can be used for heating or cooling (2). For the emergency power supply there is as well a UPS – uninterruptible power supply, which is an element of the building’s “intelligent network”. The unconventional power supply comes from photovoltaic system integrated in the façade and the heating system is supported by the active use of solar power through tube collectors.

Basic construction facts were already mentioned – it is a concrete building with reinforcements of steel, hollow plastic spheres and nanotechnology. Glass used for both facades has Low-E and other additional surfaces to improve the energy savings and human comfort. Inside the building, because of the fire-protection, façades are made of nonwired Pyroguard clear safety glass or polished wired glass for fire-rated glazing applications, proposed by Oldcastel Glass®. One more innovation that I suggest in this building’s construction is the additional use of aerogel insulation’s profiles. This new material is another result of nanotechnology applications. It provides the highest R values available today with extremely slim profiles; reduces thermal bridging because it is perfect for places which typical insulation materials cannot reach; and it is very light, which is extremely important in such construction as a skyscraper. The structure is based on the scheme of the tube with core with additional truss belts as framework on the equipment floors. In this type of system, all horizontal loads are transferred via façade and the vertical ones via core. From the core, 4 extra shear walls diverge to make the structure even stiffer in case of the earthquake.

The fire protection system is provided by: - escape routes: • horizontal: halls, balconies • vertical: two closed staircases - specially constructed elevators, - sprinklers (in every room designed for work or liv ing and in escape routes, both horizontal and verti cal) - smoke detectors (in every room designed for work or living and in escape routes, both horizontal and vertical) - appliances preventing the room from filling with smoke (in every closed escape route, both horizon tal and vertical) Every single floor is a separate, closed fire zone with the fire-resisting rated floors, ceilings, walls and openings. Additionally, the water tanks located on the roof are used as the extra water source for fire-fighting.

The last word‌

I wrote about sustainable city development, which conducts fields such as urban planning, economy, ecology, sociology and psychology. There is no difference in organizing a city and an environmental and human friendly building‌ After all, it is all about the people... Once they were afraid of big cities – now they are afraid of tall buildings. If we can create cities that people love I dare to claim, we can build a skyscraper that people will love, too. And, it may turn out to be the part of the sustainable city development because it would be sustainable itself. If such a huge building, with thousands of people working and living in it and with the same variety of possible space use for commercial and non-commercial purposes, would be designed with the same principles as the city, the way to connect it with the existing structure, would be very simple – based on the same planning system, it grows into urban environment and become an organism that actively improves living conditions instead of just being the passive part of the structure.

REFERENCES …In the United States of America (1) “Peopling of Americas” Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History (June 2004). (2) Report for Selected Countries and Subjects y(180 countries; 6 subjects). International Monetary Fund. (3) Flinn, Ryan (2006-10-17). U.S. Population Tops 300 Million on Immigrant Surge.

Chicago (1) Swenson, John F. “Chicagoua/Chicago: The Origin, Meaning, and Etymology of a Place Name.” Illinois Historical Journal 84.4 (Winter 1991): 235–248 (2) Population in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Population for the United States and Puerto Rico (CSV). U.S. Census Bureau (December 30, 2003)

Skyscrapers (1) High-Rise Manual. Typology and Design, Construction and Technology. Edited by Johann Eisele, Ellen Kloft, Birkhaeuser 2003 (2) – U.S. Green Building Council

City in a building (1) “The mile-high Illinois” – summary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision, 1956. (2) “Environmental psychology in the design, operation and impact of sustainable skyscrapers”, Richard Wener, Polytechnic University, NSF Self-Sustainable High-Rise Building Workshop, January 13-14 2005 (3) “Environmental psychology in the design, operation and impact of sustainable skyscrapers”, Richard Wener, Polytechnic University, NSF Self-Sustainable High-Rise Building Workshop, January 13-14 2005

Skyscrapers in the XXI century (1) (2)

How ‘1/3 of the mile high skyscraper’ works? (1) High-Rise Manual. Typology and Design, Construction and Technology. Johann Eisele, Ellen Kloft, Birkhaeuser 2003 (2)

BIBLIOGRAPHY -James R. Grossman, Ann Durkin Keating, Janice L. Reiff. The Encyclopedia of Chicago (University of Chicago Press 2005) (online edition) -Bancroft, George History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent (online edition) -The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2001-05, Columbia University Press -Architectural styles of America, Dr. Tom Paradis, Northern Arizona University -The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago Š 2005 Chicago Historical Society -High-Rise Manual. Typology and Design, Construction and Technology. Johann Eisele, Ellen Kloft, Birkhaeuser 2003 -Environmental psychology in the design, operation and impact of sustainable skyscrapers, Richard Wener, Polytechnic University, NSF Self-Sustainable High-Rise Building Workshop, January 13-14 2005 -Physical properties of carbon Nanotubes, Thomas A. Adams II, university of Pennsylvania, Michigan State University – edu/cmp/csc/ntproperties/

Graphic - sources – Chicago public library – US department of transportation -Detail, 2003 7/8 -High-Rise Manual. Typology and Design, Construction and Technology. Johann Eisele, Ellen Kloft, Birkhaeuser 2003

The city not quite mile high  

Master Thesis Project - Architetcure and Urban Design 2007