Remarkable People

The Chicago Spire to become world’s tallest residential building

The Chicago Spire to become wo...
The new Chicago Spire
The new Chicago Spire
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The original design
The original design
The new Chicago Spire
The new Chicago Spire
The new Chicago Spire
The new Chicago Spire

December 17, 2006 Santiago Calatrava is known for his ability to create public landmarks on a grand scale. The world renowned Spanish architect and engineer has one of the most impressive bodies of work ever assembled including the Athens Olympic Sports Complex, the rebuilding of the World Trade Center Transport Hub, plus dozens of the most beautiful buildings in major cities around the world - airports, opera houses, bridges, train stations. Now Shelbourne Development Group has filed a final design for the Chicago Spire, with the City of Chicago. The Calatrava-designed Chicago Spire is 2,000-foot tall tower which will become the tallest residential building in the world if approved. It’s Calatrava’s second remarkable residential building.

The landmark 2,000-foot tall spiraling tower will be built at the mouth of the Chicago River along the shores of Lake Michigan. The new plan includes several improvements to the original design that will enhance the building’s integration with the riverfront and minimize traffic flow through the neighborhood.

“We have taken what was a highly-innovative design and turned it into something even more desirable,” said Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Shelbourne Development Ltd. & the Shelbourne Development Group, Inc. “We look forward to the city’s approval and to breaking ground next year.”

Famed architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, who is both the lead architect and engineer for the project, echoed Kelleher’s enthusiasm. “"The sculptural idea of an extremely slender building that twists as it rises has been retained. But, I believe the design is more mature than it was initially, and the relationship between the building and the city is better, which is something I could accomplish only with Mr. Kelleher’s partnership,” said Calatrava.

The Chicago city planning department has begun reviewing the proposal, which calls for a property encompassing 3 million square feet and soaring 2,000-feet above the ground. However, unlike the initial concept, The Chicago Spire will not include a broadcast antenna, nor will it include a hotel or retail space. The number of floors has increased from 124 to 160, and the number of exclusive residences now total 1,300. The tower’s spectacular lobby will feature 56-foot tall ceilings and glass walls allowing for an unobstructed view through the base on all sides.

To maximize the property’s riverfront access, The Chicago Spire will be situated along the Ogden Slip at the northern end of the property. The new plans call for an underground 5-floor garage, which will sit under the building’s riverside plaza. The development team is also dedicated to the early development of DuSable Park, which borders the property to its East.

Kelleher and members of his development team, including Calatrava, conducted a series of introductory meetings this week with city homeowners and community groups with a presence in the Streeterville area to discuss development plans and the construction of the building.

“It was important to us that we had the opportunity to receive feedback from the community before submitting our design for city approval,” said Kelleher. “I am now even more confident that we will develop a building that the city and neighborhood will embrace and which will take its rightful place in the history of modern architecture.”

The earliest the city might approve the changes would be next month.

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