Pair of skyscrapers proposed for site of Calatrava's doomed Chicago Spire

Two “sister skyscrapers” designed by architect David Childs have been unveiled for Chicago’s waterfront, nearly 10 years after work on Santiago Calatrava’s ill-fated Chicago Spire halted on the same plot.

The 400 Lake Shore Drive development is located where the Chicago River flows into Lake Michigan, on the site the Spanish architect’s 150-storey Spire began construction in 2007 but was stopped the following year due to the global financial crisis.

The Spire land was signed over to developer Related Midwest in 2014. The company ditched Calatrava’s scheme in favour of the “sister skyscrapers” proposal, for which it enlisted Childs – designer of New York’s One World Trade Center – and architecture firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill.

While Calatrava’s spiral tower was planned to include 1,300 luxury apartments, the new scheme for 400 Lake Shore Drive includes a mix of luxury condominiums, apartments and a boutique hotel across the two skyscrapers.

The pair will be positioned at an angle to one another, with a large gap left gap between to maintain views from Downtown Chicago to the water. The duo are a different shape and size: the South Tower is slender and tall, while the shorter North Tower is more stout.

“We are proposing a new urban destination: two residential towers, iconic both at their base and in the sky, differing in placement, rotation, and height,” said Childs in a statement.

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