860-880 Lake Shore Drive

860-880 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago: Case Study

Although not social housing. The technology used within the project was incredibly important and continued to be used in the coming decades in lightweight steel frame construction. Both in housing and commercially. A landmark point in high rise housing construction.

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General outline

Two 26 storey towers steel and glass towers, famous for their construction. Built in 1951, designed by Mies van der Rohe A seemingly effortless expression of a precisely detailed steel frome and glazing system. An architecture of a revolutionary skyscraper technology. The future use was, and is primarily used for office and commercial buildings.
The scheme has been described as being an uncompromising demonstration of the best of International Modernism. Although externally identical the plans of the two towers are different. The North building being predominantly 8 two room apartments per storey (66sqm) and the south building having 4 five room apartments per storey (133sqm). Spatially the buildings operate on the principal of two centrally located stair cores and lift cores with kitchens and bathrooms in each apartment centrally located and clustered in pairs. The basement levels and lower storeys provide individual storage and parking spaces, laundries and deep freeze.

Originally the plans were far more open plan with fewer partitions to only enclose the bathroom and kitchen. The remodelling was due to the developers preference of a more conventional layout.

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