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The Aon Center's new observatory will offer rare views of Chicago
POSTED 20 Mar 2019 . BY Andrew Manns
The Hettema Group and architecture practice Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) have been tapped to create a sky deck and visitor attraction at the Aon Center in Chicago, IL.

The redevelopment, the plans for which were recently finalised, will see the 83-storey building transformed into a public destination with multiple retail and dining amenities.

Connected to the ground floor via what has been called the "tallest elevator of its kind in North America", the observatory will provide sweeping views of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, and the Loop.

Sheathed in glass, the ticketed 'ride' will be able to transport visitors 1,000 ft (305 metres) in 60 seconds.

The project is being developed by the property's owner, 601 W Companies; Legends Hospitality will serve as the observatory's operator, while MKA and Cosentini Associates are supplying mechanical and structural engineering oversight.

Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Matthew Amato, general manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, the company that manages the Aon Center, said the extension would "provide an incredible view of our city and give people an opportunity to see something they can’t see anywhere else".

Expected to be completed in 2021, the revamped building, which was originally designed by Edward Durell Stone in 1974, is projected to attract two million visitors annually and generate more than US$900m (€792m, £680m) for the city of Chicago over 20 years.
The original high-rise dates to the 1970s. Credit: Courtesy of SCB
The attraction's elevator will transport guests to the building's top floor in under a minute. Credit: Courtesy of SCB
The observatory will provide visitors with panoramic views of Millennium Park, the Loop, and Lake Michigan. Credit: Courtesy of SCB
 


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20 Mar 2019

The Aon Center's new observatory will offer rare views of Chicago
BY Andrew Manns

The future attraction will feature a glass-encased 'thrill-ride', a restaurant, and retail shops.

The future attraction will feature a glass-encased 'thrill-ride', a restaurant, and retail shops.
photo: Courtesy of 601 W Companies

The Hettema Group and architecture practice Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) have been tapped to create a sky deck and visitor attraction at the Aon Center in Chicago, IL.

The redevelopment, the plans for which were recently finalised, will see the 83-storey building transformed into a public destination with multiple retail and dining amenities.

Connected to the ground floor via what has been called the "tallest elevator of its kind in North America", the observatory will provide sweeping views of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, and the Loop.

Sheathed in glass, the ticketed 'ride' will be able to transport visitors 1,000 ft (305 metres) in 60 seconds.

The project is being developed by the property's owner, 601 W Companies; Legends Hospitality will serve as the observatory's operator, while MKA and Cosentini Associates are supplying mechanical and structural engineering oversight.

Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Matthew Amato, general manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, the company that manages the Aon Center, said the extension would "provide an incredible view of our city and give people an opportunity to see something they can’t see anywhere else".

Expected to be completed in 2021, the revamped building, which was originally designed by Edward Durell Stone in 1974, is projected to attract two million visitors annually and generate more than US$900m (€792m, £680m) for the city of Chicago over 20 years.



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