Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Climbing the Coast

Young Professionals Committee Hosts Tour of New Chicago Skyscraper

Chicago, July 24, 2012

With only two floors left before topping out, the CTBUH Young Professionals Committee organized a tour last week of the Coast at Lakeshore East, the newest in a series of residential towers on Chicago’s waterfront.

Ryan Keane addresses the Young Professionals about the project's history.

The Coast will reach 464 feet (142 meters) when completed next year, the newest tower in the SOM master-planned Lakeshore East community. The project is currently two months ahead of schedule, according to Ryan Keane of McHugh Construction, the lead contractor, which helped organize the tour. Design architect Carl Moskus, of bKL Architecture was also on hand to answer questions about the design of the building.

About 35 professionals attended the tour on July 24, which started with a brief presentation by Mr. Keane and Tom Kruszewski of McHugh Construction, who explained the history of the site, which was once used for boat slips. Drilling caissons in the reclaimed land was one of many challenges faced by the construction team, which also needed to work with the two different glazing systems for environmental response included in the design.

After the presentation guests donned their hard hats to travel up to the 36th floor and review the current slab construction. From there they climbed stairs--including a few flights that extended over the edge of the building--to reach the current highest floor, providing extraordinary views of Chicago.

View of Chicago from the building.

Rain that morning postponed the normal concrete pour, giving attendees a chance to examine the rebar and other systems embedded in the post-tensioned concrete. The construction crews have been able to maintain a pace of pouring a floor every three days, in part, by using the Aluma Hi-Flyer system which allows for large pieces of formwork to be hung between the columns and then raised as one section by crane, rather than the more time consuming method of moving smaller sections and using jacks to hold them up.

The tour ended with a trip to the lower levels of the tower to see the initial apartment fit outs. A final stop was made to check out the amenities deck, site of the pool that will provide residents a chance to cool off in the heat of Chicago summers.

Young Professionals explore the construction site.

After the tour guests went next door to the Filini Bar and Restaurant in Aqua, another of the Lakeshore East district’s new towers. (YPC hosted a presentation on Aqua earlier this year.)

The Young Professionals Committee plans to host more technical building tours. The committee, established for professionals under 35, seeks to integrate and engage the younger generation of architects, engineers, and builders in the CTBUH’s broader mission.

For more information on the group, and to stay up to date with planned events, visit the Young Professionals Committee webpage and join the group’s LinkedIn group.

See more tours and events.

- Aric Austermann