This is my eleventh skyscraper based off of Spencer Rezkalla's original design, and my twelfth overall. Upon completion in 1972, the former Standard Oil Building was built to serve as the headquarters of the Indiana-based Standard Oil Company whose former headquarters was at South Michigan Avenue and East 9th Street. In 1985, the building was renamed to the Amoco Building after the company changed names. After the building was sold for an estimated $430 to $440 million to The Blackstone Group, it was renamed to its present title, Aon Center, on December 30, 1999. However, the Aon Corporation did not become the building's primary tenant until 2001.
This model is my fourth skyscraper from Chicago. Originally, I was going to complete my Daley Center model before this one. But considering the fact that I actually finished designing this model back in October 2009, I figured it was high time I get this one finished already. This model took about three days to design, nearly 15 hours to build, and a whopping year and a half to complete. Model completed May 28, 2011.
The former Standard Oil Building was given the nickname "Big Stan" after its completion because it was the tallest building in Chicago and the fourth tallest in the world at 1,136 ft tall. A year later, however, it was dethroned by the Sears Tower which became tallest in Chicago and the world. Today, the Aon Center is Chicago's third tallest building with the Trump Tower having surpassed it as well in 2009. Had the recently cancelled Chicago Spire ever been built, the Aon Center would have been just above half the height of the would-be 2000 ft spire.
The main outdoor plaza lies just across the street from Chicago's Grant Park. At night, the building is sometimes host to messages lit using lighting on several floors to form letters. These messages are always visible on the building's south side facing Grant Park. Some past messages have been "BEARS" and "SOX" in support for the local football and baseball teams, "2016" for rallying of the failed Chicago bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, and "USA" on the night that Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election.
Looking down along North Columbus Drive. The plaza's SNOT surfaces and sidewalks were tricky to figure out. When desinging these in LDD, I managed to find a suitable way that did work. However, when I was assembling it using instructions from LDD, it required some force to get the connecting pieces in place properly. Had I not done this in LDD already, I would have thought that I was "jamming" the pieces in. But because the program will not allow damaging techniques of any kind, I knew that my method of placing the pieces was not, in fact, forcing the pieces into unsuitable conditions but ones that just required a little more force than placing your average brick on a stud. I found this to be a good learning experience. My overall impression from this model is- If it works in LDD, it works in real life too!
The plaza's details along North Stetson Avenue.
The backside of the plaza incorporates some of the same previously mentioned SNOT surfaces.
The back entrance to the Aon Center with a circle driveway in front.
The arched entrance to the plaza's sunken level.
Looking down from the rooftop.
The rooftop details include a rooftop access entryway, radio equipment, and a communication antenna that was installed in mid-2009.
Looking up at "Big Stan!" The Aon Center is one of three buildings I like to call "Grant Park Corner." The other two in my nicknamed area are the Prudential Plaza and the Smurfit-Stone Building. All three are very recognizable Chicago buildings that I would like to, one day, make models of and connect them to each other.
My model seperates into five modules that are held together via eight technic connector pins at each seperation point.
Because each side of the tower is facing a different direction, I had to use bars underneath the skin to bind the two portions of each of the tower's faces together. The corners are then connected via hinge bricks.
Both the Aon Center and the towers of the former World Trade Center used the same architectural technique of using load-bearing columns on the facade to increase stability and earthquake resistance. One notable difference, however, is that the columns on the Aon Center are much thicker and have more space between each other than the columns of the World Trade Center towers did. That makes grill tiles for the facades of the Twins and rail plates for the facade of the Aon perfect pieces for representing these buildings at this scale.
The John Hancock Center, Aon Center, and Trump Tower rooftop heights are all within twenty feet of each other. The Aon surpasses the Hancock Center by only nine feet.
This is a terrific model, like all of your others. This model actually inspired my interest in all chicago skyscrapers. I have recreated this using the same technique used by you and Spencer. I've made some other chicago skyscrapers, which I'll upload soon
Rocco, this model is awesome..it looks really realistic and so detailed...nice construction..i am speechless..never expect that it will look so awesome...
And now some private things...i can't write emails or answer some emails to you cuz my email- servers is completely down..i hope that it's repaired in about 2 weeks..
Greetz from germany ;)
Yes, the only Chicago buildings I've built are the four tallest - which Rocco has now also completed with the finishing of the Aon Center. These four also happen to be the only Chicago supertalls with roof heights over 1000ft.
Unfortunately I am in the camp that sort of hopes the Chicago Spire never gets built - I don't think I could come up with a good model of it at my scale!