Located in the state of Illinois, Chicago is the third largest city in the US with an estimated 9.8million residents in its metropolitan area. The city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, and transportation.
Its historic architectural importance comes with the Great Fire of 1871, a tragic event that would change the world forever. The massive destruction led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation, and with it the first steel-framed high-rise building rose in the city as Chicago ushered in the skyscraper era.
Many architects rushed to Chicago for its great opportunities and effervescent knowledge, at that time the city brought together such important geniuses as: Burnham, Sullivan or Wright, giving birth to the known “Chicago school” style. The new steel-framed structures could go as high as never seen before, weight a third of what a stone building would have and let the precious natural light invade the interiors. A revolutionary construction system that established the beginning of the actual dizzying hight race in architecture.
This historical importance attracted many international architects during the next century, among them the remarkable Mies van der Rohe, who with his “Less is more” manifesto brought the steel&glass minimalism that would radically change the aesthetics of skyscrapers, influencing designs until our days.
Today, boasting of one of the world’s tallest and prettiest skylines, Chicago keeps heading the evolution of architecture being home of leading firms like SOM or Smith+Gill, which compete to design the tallest building on earth.