A Look at American Concrete Architecture: Marina City

Marina City in Chicago

A Look at American Concrete Architecture: Marina City

There are many ‘dated’ concrete skyscrapers in America that were built after the great depression. There structures, whilst they are made out of cheaper materials, are still architecturally delightful. The age of concrete saw much the construction of many great structures ranging from residential structures to shopping and leisure buildings.
Chicago used the concrete revolution to try to move the population back into downtown. In 1962 the Marina Towers were built by architect Bertran Goldberg. They were designed with space age inspiration which helped to create such an intriguing shape. The structures were part of a wider project of renovating Chicago’s downtown area. Workplaces were also built along with auditoriums and a marina which is where Goldberg’s towers got their names the towers were innovative as they were used for parking, living, and work. One of the most fascinating parts of the towers is how the car spaces were designed so that the noses of the cars would hang over the edge of the building out over the river.

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The two Marina towers shared a lot in common. They were designed to be alike thus their floor plans were identical. The first 19 floors were used for parking with an open spiral ramp that housed just fewer than 900 cars through a valet service. The 20th floor was arguably the best the laundry room in the world as it had a panoramic view. The next 40 flights up were the apartment floors. Each tower housed 450 apartments that were accessible through circular pathways. Interestingly the towers contain next to zero right angles in the interior design. The apartments are made out of triangle wedges with the bathrooms and kitchens positioned at the point of each wedge. Each wedge has its own balcony which is approximately 16 square meters of a semi-circle shape. Another quirk of the structure is that they use only electricity meaning that they could potentially have a zero carbon footprint if solar panels or wind turbines were used to power them.