Trump Hotel and Tower Chicago

Trump_International_Hotel_and_TowerThis famous, relatively new structure is now one of tallest in Chicago. A modern building of contemporary design and all glass facade adds to the already famous skyline of Chicago. The building was named after the real estate developer, Donald Trump and was designed by Owings and Merrill and Adrian Smith of Skidmore.

It stands at a height of 1,389 feet and 98 stories and contains 486 luxury residential condos. The building has 2,600 million square feet of flooring, with suites and penthouses that consist of 4-5 bedrooms. In addition, the structure has a luxury hotel condo with 339 guest rooms. The building includes a retail space, a hotel and condominium, a parking garage and a room hotel opened for businesses with services and limited accommodations.

The Modern Architectural Design

Besides its admirable aesthetics, the building contains setbacks that provide a visual cohesion with the surrounding skyline, aligning the setbacks with the heights of the nearby buildings. The first setback aligns with Wrigley Building, the second one aligns with the River Plaza and the last one aligns with the Wabash building. 


Until 2007, the plan for the Trump Tower included the construction of hotels. However, it was delayed until 2008 due to some issues. But later, guest rooms were opened on 4 floors and soon, it was built up to the 53rd floor. Including all the amenities, the grand opening of the hotel was scheduled to be held in April 2008. A reporter praised the hotel for its contemporary amenities and look, along with the stunning views.


A restaurant, named as Sixteen, was opened in 2008 with a terrace outside named as Trump. The eatery had several different types of cuisines, decoration, architecture, locations and astounding views.  The most attractive part of these restaurants is the 30 foot dome-shaped ceiling made up of West African wood. Furnished with Swarovski chandeliers, the diners can enjoy the beautiful experience of the view.


The Spa at Trump Tower provides gemstone-infused hydrated masques, oil massages and exfoliating salts showers. It also features a health club with an indoor pool, a private couple treatment suite, treatments rooms, saunas and a Swiss shower. A reporter also reported about the positivity in terms of ambiance of the spa and its treatment.

If you also want to enjoy and see the modern architecture in Chicago, do visit the Trump Tower if you are in vicinity. Even though it may result in you spending a significant amount of your hard earned money, the resulting experience will surely make it worth it. Enjoy!

Torre Agbar

Ben visited Barcelona spain a few years ago. Among the two architectural structures that stuck to his mind was visiting the amazing works Antoni Gaudí and visiting the cylindrical office building – Torre Agbar.

The Torre Agbar is a 38-story skyscraper located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes in Barcelona and its design was made to represent the culture of Catalan (Spain). The building consists of 30,000 square feet of offices, including an auditorium, and a 9,132 square foot parking garage. The 38 stories consist of 34 floors above ground and four floors underground.

Total cost: 130 million Euros or 142 million dollars and consisted of 1170 construction workers..

It opened its doors on June 2005.

At night, the building is lit up from top to bottom, making it a welcomed site for people to see from miles around. The structure contains 4,500 luminous independant LED devices that have the ability to create 16 million colors.

Unique is its cylindrical design that spirals upward to a pointed top. The materials used in the construction of the building was concrete, aluminium and glass. The facade consists of 59,619 strips of painted sheet metal, which is used to illuminate its exterior. And similar to the Empire State Building, the colors are often used to represent holidays or special events.

The glass assists in this endeavor as is has different opacities which collaborates with the aluminium to subsequently alter the colors of the tower’s exterior.

The building’s construction consisted of 25,000 square feet of concrete and 125 tons of steel.

Shard Tower

Shard Tower London
CC BY-SA 2.5,

For over a hundreds of years, there was a zoning law in London where no structure would be allowed to surpass the height of St. Pauls’s Cathedral, which is located on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of London. it was the tallest from building in London from 1710 to 1962.

Now, this zoning law has been dropped and London has awakened to the 21st century design trend of skyscraper building. One of these is the giant,Shard-Towerjutting shard of glass in the skyline called the Shard Tower, formerly London Bridge Tower.

This 95-story skyscraper located in Southwark, London is the tallest building in the European Union. Designed in neo-futuristic style by architect Renzo Piano, construction began in March 2009 and was completed in July 2012. The glass-clad pyramidal tower has 72 habitable floors with a viewing gallery and an outdoor observation deck on the 72nd floor.

The Shard stands at 1,004 feet. Piano was inspired by railway lines, London spires depicted by 18th century Venetian painter Canaletto, and the masts of sailing ships. The Shard was designed to be energy efficient, as most modern-day skyscrapers. It’s fitted with a combined heat and power plant that operates on natural gas from the National Grid. Fuel is converted to electricity and heat is recovered from the engine to provide hot water for the building.

After the destruction of World Trade Center on September 11th, architects and structural engineers around the world began re-evaluating the design of tall structures. The Shard’s initial conceptual designs were the first in the UK to be changed following the publication of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology report into the collapse of the WTC. The Shard is designed to be stable under very severe conditions with its post-tensioned concrete and composite floors, load-bearing pillars and a tapering shape that gives it a sway tolerance of 16 inches.

The Shard is currently home to the highest champagne bar in the UK as well as home to the luxury hotel Shangri-La. There have also been many brave souls that BASE jumped and parachuted off the tower. This brilliant piece of architecture is not one to miss next time you find yourself in London.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101
What is the coolest attraction in Taipei City? Without a doubt it’s Taipei 101 tower. This tower was the world’s tallest building for six years until 2009 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa tower. At 1,670 feet tall, the tower is the second tallest building in the world and is a Taiwanese treasure.

The Tower currently held many records including highest occupied floor, fastest elevator speed, tallest sundial, and largest countdown New Years Eve clock among others. Construction on the tower began in 1999 and was completed in 2004. Its 101 floors give it its name which is associated with perfection. The interior contains two restaurants on the 85th floor. The tower also contains a multi story mall with many retail stores, restaurants, clubs, and attractions. The 101st floor is home to a private and exclusive VIP club that is invite only.

Taipei 101 was designed to withstand typhoon winds as well as earthquakes. It can withstand gale winds of 134 mph and the strongest earthquakes for the next 2,500 years. The design of the tower is also structurally resistant to prevent damage and offer comfort to its occupants by protection of glass, curtain walls, and other features.

The tower is one of the most stable buildings ever built. The foundation is reinforced by 380 piles driven 262 feet into the ground and extending 98 feet into bedrock. During construction, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Taipei, there was no structural damage to the building which is quite an impressive feat for a building only 660 feet away from a major fault line. To offset movements in the building caused strong wind gusts, a 728 ton steel pendulum was constructed to act as a tuned mass damper. The sphere of the damper is the largest in the world.

The blue-green glass curtain walls of Taipei 101 are double paned and glazed to offer heat and UV protection. This facade is made from glass and aluminum panels and along with the tinted green glass windows were meant to give the tower the look of a bamboo shoot. The roof and facade recycled water system provides up to 30% of the building’s water needs, making it a green building. In 2011, the tower was officially certified “the world’s tallest green building” under LEED standards.

The repeated segments of the tower represent an Asian pagoda which is meant to link earth and sky, this is seen in the Petronas Towers of Malaysia. The look of bamboo symbolizes learning and growth, and the segments also represent ancient Chinese money boxes that represent abundance. Throughout the structure there also appears curled ruyi figures. The ruyi talisman represents healing, fulfillment, and protection. Feng shui philosophy is also apparent throughout the tower which is meant to bring a flow of positive energy. Water elements throughout the tower are meant to redirect negative energy from the tower.

Taipei 101 boasts a four floor observation deck, with the 91st floor being completely outdoors and open to the public when conditions are stable. Visit this brilliant beacon next time you are in Taiwan and experience seeing the world below while amongst the clouds!

The Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center

The Freedom Tower at One World Trade CenterThe “Freedom Tower” as it is colloquially called, officially named One World Trade Center, is a revolution in design. It is not only one of the safest buildings in the nation, but also the greenest.

Soon after the destruction of the original World Trade Center building, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation initiated proposals for the reconstruction of a new building, integrating in the design a park and museum to memorialize the victims of the September 11 attacks.

When the public rejected the first round of designs, a second, more open competition took place in December 2002, in which a design by Daniel Libeskind was selected as the winner. This plan went through many revisions, mainly because of disagreements with developer Larry Silverstein, who held the lease to the World Trade Center site.

It is interesting to note that Donald Trump had stated early on that both of the original 110 story towers should have been rebuilt with an additional one more story higher, as a sign of resilience and defiance and it appeared that many people had agreed with him at the time. However, Trump’s appeal was disregarded and construction of the new Freedom Tower began on April 27, 2006, but not after continuous delays and ongoing bureaucracy, including disputes between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and developer Tishman Realty & Construction.

The Tishman construction firm was famous for its participation in building some of the tallest buildings in the country, including the original World Trade Center complex and the John Hancock Center in Chicago. John Tishman died on February 6 2016. leaving the business to his son.

Construction began on April 27, 2006 and on November 18, 2006, 400 cubic yards of concrete was poured onto the building’s foundation. On December 17, 2006, a ceremony was held in Battery Park City, with the public invited to sign a 30-foot steel beam, which was welded onto the building’s base on December 19, 2006.

Using the walls and beams high above street level, hard hats paid moving tributes to those lost. One such line read ‘God Bless the workers & inhabitants of this bldg.’. These testaments represents the resilience of a city and country that continues to show defiance against senseless attacks on its citizens.

This shining tower is a splendid addition to the New York skyline and is also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Visible for 20 miles or more, The Freedom Tower is a magnificent structure that took a decade to design and build, culminating from the work of thousands of patriotic workers who’s passion was to pay tribute to those lost in the 2001 attacks.

One of the two designers behind this structure is Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind. His most famous designs include The Felix Nussbaum Haus museum in Osnabrück, Germany, Złota 44 Skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland, and The Imperial Museum North in England. His revolutionary styles are a mix of modern, contemporary, and deconstructivism. The second designer is American architect David Childs, responsible for many famous buildings in New York including One Worldwide Plaza, Times Square Tower, and 383 Madison Avenue to name a few. Childs specializes in postmodern and modern style of architecture.

Freedom Tower Looking Up
Freedom Tower Looking Up

The construction of the western hemisphere’s largest building was built from post industrial recycled materials and three quarters of the waste created during construction was recycled. In order to save on electricity, most of the buildings windows are glass, designed to let in as much light as possible. Not only is this design aesthetically pleasing, but quite innovative. The building’s water system also contains rainwater collecting tanks that not only help cool but reduce water consumption by 30%, in an effort to be one of the most water efficient buildings on the East coast.

Freedom Tower’s strong solid structure owes to its concrete core and incredibly thick concrete walls. This ensures the building is blast resistant and can withstand everything from earthquakes to strong category winds. There are also state of the art fire retardant systems through the entire building, including the staircases and elevators, ensuring the safety of everyone in the building.

In late 2012, dedicated hard hats installed a temporary steel framework at the top of the tower to support the 408 foot steel spire that was to sit above the building. The spire was created in 16 separate sections, where workers painstakingly fastened each section together one by one. The segments were built in Montreal Canada and were transported by barge through to New York’s Hudson River, along side where the tower rests, just yards away on Manhattan’s west side.

In April, 2012, the 104 story Freedom Tower became the tallest structure in New York City, surpassing the 102 story Empire State Building. The tower was topped out on August 30, 2012 and on May 10, 2013, the final component of the skyscraper’s spire was installed, making the building, including its spire reach a total height of 1,776 feet. When completed, the tower reached 1,776 feet to represent the signing or our Declaration of Independence in 1776.

As for its occupants, the 3 million square feet of office space is filling up fast. Even before construction, Anna Wintour of Vogue Magazine, part of the company Conde Nast, were the first company to rent space in the Tower, with a record of 1 million square feet of space.

One WTC Ground Floor
Inside the ground floor of One World Trade Center

This dazzling monument’s design has gained much praise with New York City residents. It represents the power and courage of the people of New York. A beacon of light, the undaunted Freedom Tower stands watchfully over the city that has faced and overcome its dark past, staring confidently into the future.

See the time-lapse video below.

The building has an elaborate security facility integrated within it. In addition to 24×7 human monitoring, there is a sophisticated security system that includes video analysis, in which computers would alert security personnel to abnormal situations automatically.

In addition, other security apparatuses have been installed in and around the area, but their actual function has not been made public. What is known is that there are radiation detectors abound in New York City and the NYPD Hercules Team is ready at a moment’s notice.

Bank of America Tower

Bank of America TowerThe Bank of America Tower is located in the heart of midtown Manhattan, on 6th ave and 42nd St. and is the bank’s North American Headquarters.

The skyscraper was awarded Platinum LEED certification by the U.S. Green building council and has been designated as one of the most environmentally friendly office buildings in the world, as it The conserves approximately 10.3 million gallons of water every year.

The Bank of America building is currently the 4th tallest building in New York City, after the freedom tower, 432 park ave and the Empire State Building.

Designed by Cookfox Architects, construction started in 2004 and the building was completed in 2009 at a cost of 1 billion dollars, by the well-known New York builders Tishman Construction Company.

With a height of 1,200 ft. (which includes the spire), it only contains 58 floors, as the spire rises 255.5 feet above the main structure. It has 52 elevators and contains 2,200,000 square feet.

The building has been sited for its ingenuity of environmental technology, as it has many features that compliment the environment. It has a 5 MW on-site gas generator, which provides the building for two thirds of its annual energy requirements. It’s bathroom urinals are waterless, which saves three million gallons of water per year. In addition to the spire, there is a a wind turbine on the roof to generate electricity.

In addition, a 21st century design concept that is under development allows guests to change the color of the lights at night. Being designed by Mark Domino, son of the building’s developer Douglas Durst, it will be a smartphone app where only those who get an invitation can join.

Much publicity was given to the Bank of America tower, including a national geographic episode in megastructures.  It was also  given the label as the “The Most Ambitious Eco-Friendly Skyscraper” in the December 2005 edition of popular science..

Technical Data is as Follows:

  • 1,200.01 ft
  • 953.60 ft
  • 58
  • 52
  • 2004
  • 2009
  • Architects: Cookfox