The Willis Tower in Chicago

The Willis Tower in Chicago
The Willis Tower in Chicago

Chicago in Illinois and on the shores of the gigantic Lake Michigan, has always been one of the most important cities in United States. In fact, today it is the third most populous, only after New York and Los Angeles. And that development has had a very clear manifestation for decades in its outstanding architecture.


Willis Tower dominating the Chicago skyline

Even here there was the influential School of Chicago with buildings of the caliber of the Rookery Building or the most beautiful works of Louis Sullivan like your Carson Stores. And later the streets of Chicago were populated with large skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center Tower, the Tribune Tower, the Tower Trump, the Wrigley Building, or the oldest of all, the Water Tower.

However, taller than any of the above is the Willis Tower, whose original and also most popular name among Chicagoans is Tower Sears. It is a building that reaches 442 meters in height, which made it the tallest skyscraper in the world from its inauguration in 1973 until 1998. An award that only lost when the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur was completed.

The work was designed by the architect Bruce Graham and the engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan, who conceived of organizing everything in a wayprismatic That is, there are up to nine square-based tubes that rise to different heights. Some reach 50 floors, others 66 or 90. And the two highest rise to the 108th floor. They are like independent buildings, but they are supported by each other. Quite a technical prodigy that was built in just two years of construction.

One of the reasons for creating this system was to make a building resistant to the usual Chicago winds. That's why, if we get on his famous Skydeck, on the 103rd floor, we'll see how the entire building moves with the wind, becomes flexible to be able to resist its push. What is the Skydeck? It is a tourist attraction in the Willis Tower that consists of a glass office on all sides, including the floor, which is hung from the 103rd floor of the building, so that one feels the full height of the construction in a dizzying way.

The building is undeniably attractive. In the first place because of the setbacks of its modular facades that are generated in height. And secondly because of the dark surface of its bronze-tinted glass and the black tone of the anodized aluminum that serves as its structure. This aluminum only appears in these glass facades, since the construction structure is basically made of steel.

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