Lake Point Tower

Lake Point Tower, Chicago-Illinois - United States, George Schipporeit, John Heinrich
Construction year: 1968
Address: 505 N Lake Shore Dr | CHICAGO-ILLINOIS | United States | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 41.89142, -87.61229
Architect(s):

Lake Point Tower is a high-rise residential building located on a promontory of the Lake Michigan lakefront in downtown Chicago, just north of the Chicago River at 505 North Lake Shore Drive. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. It rises somewhat apart from the urban cluster of downtown Chicago in a composition that sets off and punctuates the skyline. The building is also the only skyscraper in downtown Chicago east of Lake Shore Drive.

The architects for Lake Point Tower were John Heinrich and George Schipporeit, working under the firm name of Schipporeit and Heinrich; the two were students of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the best-known architects of the Bauhaus movement and International Style school, who taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Lake Point Tower was completed in 1968, is approximately 197 m tall, and was the tallest apartment building in the world at that time. The project developer was William F. Hartnett, Jr., chairman and founder of Hartnett-Shaw Development Company, which was responsible for more than 260 residential and commercial real estate developments in the United States from 1961–1983.

Lake Point Tower was inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s 1922 design for a glass-curtained skyscraper in Berlin. Schipporeit and Heinrich took van der Rohe’s unbuilt office building concept and converted it to a residential building. Despite differences — Lake Point Tower is much taller than van der Rohe’s original project, more regular in form, and its exterior glass curtain wall is tinted — many consider it a Mies van der Rohe building executed by two of his protégés.

Because of its height and lakeside site, the skyscraper had to be designed to withstand high winds. At the center of the building is a triangular core, 59 feet wide, that contains nine elevators and three stairwells. This core holds all of the vertical weight of the building, allowing the perimeter pillars on the facade to be much smaller.

Radiating from the core are three arms that form an asymmetrical Y-shaped floor plan. The original four-armed design was changed to a three-armed design (120° apart). The outer walls are curved to prevent residents from seeing into other condominiums. The façade of the building is a curtain of bronze-tinted glass framed by gold-anodized aluminum, which reflects the sunlight off of Lake Michigan and looks golden.

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