Willis Tower (former Sears Tower) and Skydeck (1973)

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (architect: Bruce Graham & structural engineer: Fazlur Khan)
Chicago, Illinois

We visited the Willis Tower, first thing in the morning. The 108-story office building is the tallest building in the United States and has been considered a breaking point in structural engineering. The tower employs the first-ever bundle-tube structure, with nine “tubes” of essentially independent structures rising in a “bundle”. All nine structures rise up to the 50th floor, and at that point, the northwest and southwest tubes end, while the remainder continuing to rise. At the 66th floor, the northeast and southwest tubes end, and at the 90th floor, the north, east, and south tubes end. The remaining west and center tubes continue up to the 108th floor, where five floors below (floor 103), Skydeck is located.

The highest viewing point in Chicago is characterized by its glass extrusions with transparent floors.

Chicago felt very much like Vancouver to me, while New York is comparable to Toronto. (some disagree and say Toronto resembles Chicago) I’m convinced that cities are generally happier by the water:
1. Climate
2. Beach within close reach of downtown so it’s accessible to everyone.
3. People are inclined to exercise more by the beach. Healthy people make happy people
4. Seeing the open horizon and listening to and smelling the open water makes people happy.
I could go on, but I’ll stop here…

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