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Chicago - City Of Big Shoulders
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© Christine Till
Left - The ABN AMRO Plaza Technology Center: It's all about the angles with this one. ABN AMRO Plaza has some of the most daring angles in the city. Acute angles and points, not merely squares define the space of this building. And as if to reinforce the message, the building is capped by a floating framework that juts out at its most precipitous points. An apex upon this trapezoid-shaped building's apexes. Such a building could have easily resulted in something resembling a science fiction cartoon. But the execution here was very well done, transforming what could have been another vaguely-1990's glass block into a building that defines its own style, rather than follows the lead of others.
Right - The Citigroup Center (formerly: Citicorp Center / Northwestern Atrium): A massive hulk of a building that manages to not feel imposing in spite of its girth. The Citigroup Center combines reflective glass with setbacks to maximize office space while remaining pedestrian-friendly.
In essence, this building is actually a group of three traditional Art Deco towers attached shoulder-to-shoulder and clad in blue glass. The massing of a shaft on top of a podium with additional setbacks at the top is a method used for a hundred years to make sure that light reaches street level. By covering this building in reflective blue glass it maximizes the amount of light it shares and also helps blend into the sky to reduce its visual footprint.
October 5th, 2012
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