Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Hi-Rise, Lo-Carb: Chicago
2012, Illinois Institute of Technology, Professor Antony Wood

“Hi-Rise, Lo-Carb” presents a vision of a more sustainable Chicago. Illinois Institute of Technology architecture students reimagined six downtown sites, designing skyscrapers that address key issues for building a more livable city – a city that is not yet visible but hatching in the minds of architects and students.

This project is currently being exhibited as part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s “Unseen City” exhibition.

Students developed these visionary proposals in a comprehensive design studio led by the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. The six “Hi-Rise, Lo-Carb” solutions presented here were designed in the context of the Chicago “DeCarbonization Plan,” a strategy developed by Smith + Gill Architecture, which outlines a plan for meeting the City’s carbon reduction goals by 2030.

Underpinning the “High-Rise, Lo-Carb” studio is the idea that skyscrapers have some way to go before they become truly sustainable. While the dense, vertical city offers significant energy benefits over horizontal alternatives, tall buildings need to maximize their connection with place—physically, culturally and environmentally. This process will create a new, unique aesthetic for every city, appropriate to the challenges of the 21st century.

Final Reviews at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Andrew Liu & Nicandro Sanchez
SkyFarm is a residential skyscraper which brings large-scale commercial farming directly into the city. Residents enjoy abundant green space and individual gardens to grow their own food.

  Plymouth Tower
Christopher Reddy & Matthew Byrne
Plymouth Tower provides green spaces and other amenities that families desire, making the Loop a more appealing neighborhood for raising children. Vertical blocks divide the high-rise into smaller communities and create streets in the sky.

CO2ngress Gateway
Danny Mui & Benjamin Sahagun
Every day, 77,000 carbon-emitting vehicles fly past the Congress Parkway interchange, polluting the air. This project creates a gateway over the corridor that filters air and fuels a new breed of car for its residents.

  Clean Tower
Kyle Bigart & Peter Binggeser

By focusing on water purification and public space, Clean Tower  redefines the way Chicagoans interact with the Chicago River. The leaning high-rise with dramatic views aims to celebrate, rather than mistreat, the river.

Post [Waste] Office
Archit Sawhney & Bryon Krebs
The Post [Waste] Office transforms the vacant Old Chicago Main Post Office into a waste management center and cultural hub. The building combines recycling, energy generation, and community engagement.

  The High School High-Rise
Jorge Trevino & Carlos Valdez
The High School High-Rise consists of three vertical schools in Lake Shore East, Chicago’s most densely populated residential neighborhood. The project encourages families to live in the city and helps establish a neighborhood feel downtown.