CTBUH Journal — “Case Study: Vista Tower, Chicago”

Jeanne Gang
Juliane Wolf

CTBUH Journal
International Journal on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Tall buildings: design, construction, and operation | 2019 Issue IV



Upon completion, Vista Tower will become Chicago's third tallest building, topping out the Lakeshore East development, where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan. Occupying a highly visible site on a north-­south view corridor within the city's grid, and in close proximity to the Loop, the river, and the city's renowned lakefront park system, this mixed-use supertall building with a porous base is simultaneously a distinctive landmark at the scale of the city and a welcoming connector at the ground plane.

"Vista Tower, the subject of our case study, is situated prominently at the intersection of the historic axes of the Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive. It is one thing to choose a significant location for the city's future third-tallest building; it is quite another to turn that location into a gateway that unites parkland with riverfront recreation, crossing beneath a three-level roadway that had blocked access for decades. On the one hand, the building is very much in the Chicago tradition of structural bravado; on the other, it uses that bravado to hearken a future where skyscrapers are unitary forces and no longer urban barriers."

— Daniel Safarik, Editor, CTBUH Journal