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Chicago's 101-Storey Vista Tower Nears Completion

Helios Visions | 1:10

Chicago's 101-Storey Vista Tower Nears Completion

Tim Gibson

2 April 2020

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DESPITE the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago's 101-storey Vista Tower - the tallest skyscraper designed by a female architect to date - is nearing completion. 

The 365 metre residential structure topped out in April last year and became the third tallest skyscraper in Chicago after Trump Tower and the former world’s tallest building, the Willis Tower.

The drone footage above, captured by Helios Visions in the autumn of 2019, shows the works progressing. 

Above: Vista Tower topped out in April 2019 (image courtesy of Tom Harris for Studio Gang).

Jeanne Gang is a world-renowned architect whose practice Studio Gang operates out of Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

Gang has purposefully designed Vista Tower to complement the nearby Aqua Tower, another of her projects.

Above: Vista Tower's waved facade compliments the nearby Aqua Tower (image courtesy of George Showman). 

Vista Tower is comprised of three interconnected volumes of staggered height. Each of these volumes features a curvilinear design of alternating frustums.

The result is a unique wave-like facade that holds its own on an already iconic skyline.

Above: The tower's form is made from a series of alternating frustums (image courtesy of Jeff Yoders/Engineering News-Record). 

The project has not been without its challenges.

Squeezed into a plot of land that is surrounded on all sides by huge developments, the site is also sliced in half by a boulevard which parts the tower at its base.

The structure has been built over this boulevard, which has remained functional throughout the construction process.

To combat wind loads the tower also has a “blow-through” floor on levels 83 and 84, allowing wind to pass through the building while reducing vortex shedding.

At the time of publication, construction on the tower remains ongoing. While the Illinois governor has asked people to stay at home, most building projects are currently exempt.

It is estimated the tower will be fully completed by summer 2020.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, please stay home and follow your national government's advice.

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