Futuristic skyline in the Chicago suburbs

Want to take a drive-by architecture tour? Forget the boat ride down the Chicago River. Try the Edens Expressway, preferably when the road crews out in force these days aren’t making traffic slow to a crawl.

Near the Old Orchard shopping center in Skokie, you’ll whiz by one of the most exhilarating new high-rises to emerge from the Chicago area’s current building boom.

The high-rise is called Optima Old Orchard Woods and is actually not one building, but three interlocking condominium towers that are 20 stories tall and have giant openings cut into them, as though the buildings were made of Swiss cheese.

As you ride by, the holes appear and disappear, joining with the towers’ Lego-like strata of glass and aluminum to create an ever-shifting profile that unfolds with cinematic theatricality.

The 650-unit complex is one of Hovey’s largest and most significant works to date, full of lessons for the contemporary cityscape: Mass-market modernist housing doesn’t have to consist of tombstonelike concrete slabs.

Buildings that dazzle from the highway don’t have to be facile one-liners. An architect can wear a developer’s hat without cutting corners and shortchanging beauty.

Source:  Chicago Tribune


One Response to “Futuristic skyline in the Chicago suburbs”

  1. Larry Says:

    beautiful lines! So what is the latest on the Chicago Spire? Haven’t heard much.

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