Aug. 24, 2007WORK UNDERWAY ON CALATRAVA SPIRE IN CHICAGO
After several redesigns, financing problems and months of speculation that Garrett Kelleher
, executive chairman of Shelbourne Development Ltd.
, would not go ahead with Santiago Calatrava
’s design for the 2,000-foot-tall "Chicago Spire," construction is now under way on the project, according to the Chicago Tribune
. The design -- which required a change in city zoning for height and would make the building Chicago’s tallest, topping the Sears Tower
-- takes advantage of "the new esthetic freedom made possible by the structural undergirding of the latest generation of supertall skyscrapers," according to the Tribune
. Calatrava’s vision has the building appear to twist as it rises, with each floor shifted two degrees from the one below it -- a conceit which is practical as well as esthetic, according to the architect, serving to deflect the "Windy City"’s famous gusts.