Hancock Tower: The Icon of Chicago’s Skyline

Skyline Architecture - Hancok Tower-1

When thinking about Chicago’s Skyline, John Hancock Tower is one of its main attractions. Located north of the Magnificent Mile it is one of our favorite spots! The Signature’s Lounge, situated on the 95th floor, has an amazing panorama and it is one of the most visited points on the city.
The tower height, including its antennas, is 459 meters with a total of 100 floors. The construction started in 1965, with Bruce Graham as the chief designer and Fazlur Khan as the structural engineer. The program is basically residential but it  also includes a variety of uses on both bottom and top of the tower; retail on street level, and an observatory and a restaurant on the highest floor.
Skyline Architecture - Hancok Tower-2
Panorama from the Signature’s Lounge. (Red square is where the previous image was taken – Building in Erie St.)
When it was being built it was the tallest building in the world outside from New York. Nowadays, it is the fourth tallest building in Chicago.  Its structural importance relies on the X-bracing tubular system that for the first time was shown in the exterior. In the beginning, the structure was something to be hidden and the apartments that had a piece of structure on their façade were expected to be sold last. Despite this fact, these apartments were the most requested. It was the beginning of a new era.
Restaurant. X-Bracing Beams
hancock_virginiaduran_5Breathtaking views
This building is very interesting in many aspects: structural, programmatic and spatial. The views from it are brutal. ​Architects are taught at school that the thing they should never forget to visit when being in a building are the restrooms, if they are successful the building must be successful as well. Indeed, the space left for this function (at least the ladies restroom) is breathtaking. (Image above)

What do you think about Hancock Tower?
If you have visited John Hancock Tower before and want to tell your experience or show your pictures, share them with Skyline Architecture and they will get published!


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