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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:13 PM
chicubs111 chicubs111 is offline
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CHICAGO | Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Hotel | 50 FLOORS | PRO

Sears Tower plans 'green' hotel
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June 24, 2009

BY DAVID ROEDER droeder@suntimes.com
Owners of Sears Tower unveiled today a $350 million makeover to reduce the famous high-rise's energy consumption.

The plans include giving the tower a new neighbor, a 50-story hotel that the Sears owners said would feature "net zero" use of energy. The new building, sat the northeast corner of Jackson and Wacker, would be designed by noted architect Adrian Smith of the firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.





http://www.suntimes.com/business/163...062409.article
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:22 PM
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I like renderings where the top isn't cropped out of the frame.

That said, the placement of it bothers me. Looks "squeezed in".
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:59 PM
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Looks like an adaptation of S/G's Clean Technology Tower- the net-zero-energy prototype with wind turbines.

Also buried in the article is that Willis will be replacing all of Sears' window panes in an energy retrofit, along with the HVAC and lighting.

Should be interesting, however it transpires.


PS - thanks much hydro.

Last edited by wrab; Jun 24, 2009 at 7:33 PM.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 7:18 PM
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That Sears will not be painted silver is mentioned rather unceremoniously, almost as a footnote. Very ironic considering that, when first announced, it was headline news.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 7:32 PM
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I don't like that they are building (or planning to build) on the Sears Tower plaza. The hotel looks good at least, if crammed. But while I am not a fan of putting plazas everywhere, some work well. The AMA building plaza was nice and well utilized, the hotel that is being built there is taking away from AMA. I think that the planned plazas enhance the architecture of the building they front (and others). This is becoming an unsettling trend - maybe next we can build in the plazas in front of Equitable and IBM.....

On a side note, I think I missed this or am confused. Showman's/Harry Hot Dogs is now gone so we can have a plaza (one I don't like) for 155 N Wacker (you know, across from the low rise Walgreens and the tragedy that was the old CME), but are the other two buildings still coming down or not? And did they get the property by ED finally or did they buy out the owners?
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 7:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tm30 View Post
I like renderings where the top isn't cropped out of the frame.

That said, the placement of it bothers me. Looks "squeezed in".
Maybe because it's squeezed in.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 8:09 PM
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 9:00 PM
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A few more hotel renderings







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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 9:38 PM
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i don't think it's whimsical enough... it needs more curves.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianXSands View Post
i don't think it's whimsical enough... it needs more curves.
hahaha!



i really dont think there is a good way of going about adding that hotel into the Sears plaza... its gonna look awkward any way you attempt it. why dont they just buy the parking lot over at 311 S Wacker's property and build there? atleast that lot was designated for a large skyscraper...
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 1:13 AM
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I think this is a lot like how the Marriott hotel was squeezed into the World Trade Center lot, but it turned out ok (I understand the Marriott was only 22 stories and this is 50, so yes a bit of a difference). I actually like this idea and the building; it gives a very modern touch to the aging Sears, and should hopefully bring some life to the south end of the Sears with its proposed retail, other than just the skydeck customers.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 2:50 AM
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They're trying to cram 50 lbs of hotel into a 5 lb plaza...
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 2:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Is this the one? It's still boring as f**k.
Really? IMO it's infinitely better than the stuff going up there now.

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Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
Is Adrian Smith trying to be the new Zaha? Consider, in addition to this, the base and riverside park of Trump. What do we call this architecture? Neo-retrofuturism? In the same way Raygun Gothic imagined the year 2000, there's a new movement that appears to derive its designs from late 90s CGIed futuristic movie sets.

I mean, what's this design rooted in? I don't mind it; I kind of like it. But this site demands a building which seeks to engage in a direct dialogue with the 1500-foot skyscraper in the room, and Smith's just seems like it should be next to the river or something.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 3:07 AM
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Either way, I like it. If anything, its interesting development, in a time when everything else is pretty much on-hold or dead.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 3:19 AM
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And the hotel:
The new hotel will feature a host of green/sustainable features, including:

• Sky gardens: Lushly landscaped green spaces at various levels will be among the building’s signature amenities—both for hotel patrons and for viewers from neighboring buildings.

• Solar deck: A naturally lit indoor garden space, covered by a glass dome featuring integrated photovoltaic panels that harvest solar energy, will offer stunning views of the skyline. A louver system will regulate the flow of air through the deck.

• Double-walled exterior: The building facade features one of Chicago’s first double-wall envelopes. Between the walls, an interior air space provides a blanket around the building that traps solar heat, venting it in summer and providing warm air in winter.

• Green roofs/planting terraces: Landscaped event spaces add an outdoor dimension to the luxurious interior, even as they add insulation and reduce storm water runoff.

• Building-integrated wind turbines: A series of wind turbines, strategically placed to harvest wind from the southwest as it flows over the smooth front facade, generate energy for the hotel. Wind is channeled into the turbine openings, which funnel it to accelerate its speed and increase power generation.

• Efficient systems: The latest technology in mechanical, electrical and control systems for optimized energy performance.

• Sustainability standard: Designed for a LEED Gold rating.

The 500-unit, five-star hotel’s amenities will include an elegant lobby, dining room, pool and spa; modern conference facilities for small and groups, with direct connection to sky terraces and green roof gardens on multiple levels; an 8,000-square-foot grand ballroom; top-of-the-line finishes made with renewable and/or recycled materials; new retail storefronts along Jackson and Franklin; and a grand outdoor plaza featuring landscaped terraces connecting the hotel to Sears Tower.

http://www.smithgill.com/#/work/sears_tower
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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 4:16 AM
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That hotel looks sweet! I say build it, the Sears plaza needs help.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 4:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrabbit View Post
In concert with the new building construction, Sears Tower’s grade-level plazas and retail will undergo a transformation. A new park on Wacker Drive will feature a reflecting pool, landscaping and seating, creating an inviting public space. The Adams Street granite wall will be replaced with an interactive digital display and glass storefronts at Adams and Franklin. Trees will be planted along Adams to form an accessible planting terrace. The new hotel will feature a retail plaza level that complements the Sears Tower restaurant Level 2. The upper plaza will include an indoor connection to the hotel, outdoor seating and additional landscape elements.
Thank god! That wall is atrocious! I'm glad to see these people plan to make Sears less affronting to the street. Frankly I'm glad to see that shitty granite go.

I love the new building, it should be really interesting with all of the double skin glass and various skygardens. Also I'm glad to see this plaza go, its one of the worst in the city, absolute unusable except as a corner shortcut. Its fenced off 80% of the time anyhow and no one ever uses it for anything. Its far from the many master piece plazas we have including Federal Plaza, Chase Plaza, and Daley Plaza. I just hope they don't do anything to obscure the Calder sculpture in the lobby from the street.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 4:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2PRUROCKS! View Post
That hotel looks sweet! I say build it, the Sears plaza needs help.
Exactly, I'd rather have an awesome new hotel and retail center than an outdated plaza, which, to me, is just a big useless sidewalk. This project totally surprised me at first, but the more I see, the more I like! Hopefully it won't get canceled.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 5:35 AM
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Yeah, I rather like the whole plan as well. Looking at the model, Sears still completely dominates so I'm not concerned that the new tower is too much for the area. Certainly from a skyline perspective the hotel will barely register at all, it'll only be ~100-150 ft or so taller than some of the surrounding office towers. From a pedestrian point of view, it seems like it'll only make a difference if you're on Jackson. But if you're walking on Jackson you already have to contend with that hostile plaza anyway, so this is probably an improvement. The digital display on Adams sounds interesting and I really like this perspective for some reason:


Maybe things will look different if they ever develop that park to the south, which I hope they never do.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 1:15 PM
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I actually really love the new hotel idea. The design looks quite innovative. I'm not sure the hotel could aspire to be a 5-star property, however. The all business location would prevent higher ratings as all-business hotels never go above 4-stars.

If this hotel and retail podium was built as depicted, I'd be very happy. However, my fear is that it could be VE'd down to something unacceptable.
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