Volume 28, Issue 3 - May/June 2014

From the Editor


My Kind Of Town

When it comes to architecture, the city of Chicago provides a host of interesting building projects and designs, ranging from the historical to the modern to the simply breath-taking—literally in some cases. The Windy City is also playing host to this year’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention, June 26-28. While the trade show (see page 16), seminars and various other educational programs are the main draw for most attendees, it’s tough to be in Chicago and not find a little extra time to see some of the city’s architectural gems. Here’s my take on some must-see stops.

Tilt! Is the city’s latest glassy attraction, which just opened in May. Located within the John Hancock Center, the glazing application tilts forward 30 degrees, giving visitors a unique view of downtown Chicago. Take a look at the feature on page 24 to read more about.

There’s also the Ledge, at the Willis Tower where visitors step out onto the glass boxes located 103 floors—1,353 feet—above the streets. Each of the Ledge’s glass boxes are comprised of three tempered ½-inch-thick lites of PPG’s Starphire low-iron glass. The walls and roof are laminated with clear PVB, which was supplied by Solutia (now Eastman Chemical), while the floors were laminated with DuPont’s SentryGlas® Plus interlayer.

There are also other more-grounded architectural attractions worth a visit. Millennium Park includes a number of public art pieces, such as the Crown Fountain. The fountain consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool. The towers project video images from a broad social spectrum of Chicago citizens.

Also in Millennium Park is the Cloud Gate sculpture (“The Bean”). The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, reflecting Chicago’s skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture.

If you do venture outside the halls of McCormick Place and find yourself visiting these sites, or any others in town that put glass to good use, feel free to email me about your visit at The Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal will also be at the show in booth 4455, so please stop by and say hello.

-Ellen Rogers

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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