Chicago Spire Hole is perfect base for Fabric Architecture

What can you do with that hole in the ground in Chicago?

The Chicago Spire, Santiago Calatrava’s tower design that would have been the tallest building in the United States, had it been built, is a now a beautiful hole in the ground.

The existing geometry and foundation provide a perfect base for a tension fabric structure.

The structure could be a series of high and low hypars that could collect water and provide shade for its visitors. Frei Otto’s Tanzbrunnen Fabric Roof in Cologne, Germany comes to mind.

The hole is located on such a great site, it would be great if Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers could make use of their talents to make a great place and to build what I call “Structures that Teach”.

There are many “holes in the ground” and unfinished projects around the world due to the economy. Finding temporary uses or new uses could be a win-win for both designers and the general public.

People can learn about the history of projects that didn’t get built or about the environment or sustainability while we wait for the economy to turn around.

If you have any other ideas about what to do with holes in the ground or unfinished buildings, feel free to share.


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