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SBa Pencil Tower at Vertical City exhibition, Chicago Cultural Centre

Our contribution to Vertical City, the large-scale installation in the Sidney R. Yates Hall of the Chicago Cultural Centre is one of sixteen five-metre-tall contemporary iterations of the 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower design contest.

The original competition, a landmark in the history of architecture, required participants to submit renderings in perspective, while the 2017 edition includes sixteen models in the form of large-scale installations.

The tower conforms to the conventions of a classical ordering with a base, middle and top but is adjusted by a rotational force that introduces three steps into the form. The inflections in each facade add to the vertical emphasis to the form and to the dynamic expression of the whole.
The design is inspired by the stacking of classical Corinthian columns whose massive stone drums are laid one on top of the other, with flutes aligned to form a singular form and by the Rachel Whiteread’s use of casting at architectural scale.