Trend Watch: New Skins on Old Icons


Blair Kamin calls the Sears Tower " a symbol of Chicago's urban might, not only because of its dark, masculine color but also because its exterior boldly expresses the structural system of "bundled tubes" that support it."

It's not for nothing that Skidmore, Owings and Merrill were nicknamed the "three blind mies"- it has a bit of that Miesian elegance. And now, to save energy, the owners are considering painting it silver.


famous bundled tube structural system . "innovative in its potential for versatile formulation of architectural space. Efficient towers no longer had to be box-like; the tube-units could take on various shapes and could be bundled together in different sorts of groupings" WP

Kamin concludes:

How would Sears look in its new skin? My answer: Ridiculous, at least based on the Sun-Times illustration.... A mirror-glass skin would make this giant look as flimsy as a Dallas office tower. There have to be better ways to make Sears go green.

This is an issue we are going to face more of. What is worth saving? Can energy saving measures trump everything else? More in the Chicago Tribune

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Tags: Architects | Buildings | Chicago | Urban Life

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