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311 South Wacker, Chicago
This model consists of approximately 3,100 pieces.
About this creation
This is my twelfth custom skyscraper model and my twenty-fifth overall. Most commonly referred to as "Three Eleven" South Wacker, this sixty-five-story Post-Modern style skyscraper was completed in 1990. Located across the street from Chicago's tallest building, Willis Tower, 311 South Wacker is one of the most noticeable buildings in the city.

This is my thirteenth Chicago skyscraper model. Designing this model was particularly interesting due to the fact that it is my first model to use Medium Dark Flesh colored elements. While this helps portray the color more accurately compared to others, it also presented the difficulty of having a limited palette of elements that exist in this color. The model took a couple weeks to design, about ten hours to build, and an overall two months to complete. Model completed March 16, 2013.

Brickshelf photos here

LEGO® Digital Designer file here

This model has been blogged on The Brothers Brick

At 961 ft, 311 South Wacker was the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world at the time of its completion. It is the seventh tallest building in Chicago, and sixteenth in the US. It is also the tallest building in the world whose address is also its formal title. Interestingly, had the proposed supertall skyscraper 7 South Dearborn ever been built, it would have been the tallest building in the world at the time, and also would have kept the designation of tallest building whose name is also its address in Chicago.

The large on-site parking and park spaces were originally meant to be occupied by two more linear slab towers. Had these plans came to fruition, the combination of the three towers, along with the winter garden at ground level, would have created a publicly accessible urban space comparable to New York City's Rockefeller Center.



The backside of the building along S Franklin St presents the east face as a broad, linear slab. Using the backsides of 1x2 log bricks and other elements was inspired by Paul Wellington's Brickville skyscrapers. Many of his buildings use the undersides of plates as façades. I decided to use bricks for mine due to the difference in scale. At his scale, plate undersides seem to allow less shadow depth, giving it more realism. Since bricks allow for more shadow, I felt this is more consistent with the realism of my scale.

Atop the building is a 105 ft translucent cylinder encircled by four smaller cylinders. The massing of all five cylinders was inspired by the crown of the Tribune Tower. The main cylinder is often lit at night in collaboration with the lighting of the Willis Tower antennas.




Looking down Franklin St.






The grassy park space that occupies the north half of the complex is used for various activities during the warmer months of the year. It is also the largest area of green space in the Chicago Loop.



The south half of the complex is used as a parking lot.





The impressive two-story lobby is also known as the "winter garden." Being that this is my favorite lobby in the city, I made sure to do inside details of the two levels, the palm trees, escalators and the fountain statue.



Comments

  November 30, 2013
Id love to include this in an upcoming book Im working on. It will be a followup to Beautiful Lego book which is out now. Can you email me at mike@michaeldoyle.com?
  November 30, 2013
I'd love to include this in an upcoming book I'm working on. It will be a followup to Beautiful Lego book which is out now. Can you email me at mike@michaeldoyle.com?
  November 30, 2013
I'd love to include this in an upcoming book I'm working on. It will be a followup to Beautiful Lego book which is out now. Can you email me at mike@michaeldoyle.com?
  November 30, 2013
I'd love to include this in an upcoming book I'm working on. It will be a followup to Beautiful Lego book which is out now. Can you email me at mike@michaeldoyle.com?
  July 28, 2013
Really lovely! I especially love the detailing in the green area and the turned log bricks. Congrats!
 I like it 
  June 7, 2013
Wow... this is clearly a work of art, and I'm not even a city builder. That must have taken a lot of Bricklink orders, and they were worth it! Brilliant job!
 I like it 
  June 4, 2013
Very nice work! Great color scheme too :)
 I like it 
  March 24, 2013
good use of unconventional pieces for the facade! wow! and i can only imagine the time you had collecting elements in that unique color! I did a tower in sand blue one time and man was it a challenge to get sand blue in the slopes and tile sizes i wanted.
 I made it 
  March 23, 2013
Thanks for all the positive feedback everyone! I hope you enjoyed Colors of Chicago!
 I like it 
  March 23, 2013
Definitely one of my favorites!
 I like it 
  March 23, 2013
excellent.
 I like it 
  March 23, 2013
I don't comment on building stuff often but when I do, it's good stuff like this.
 I like it 
  March 22, 2013
Darned clever! Using the butt ends of those curved bricks is genius!
 I like it 
  March 22, 2013
Very sophisticated architecture model, will look great on any high office desk.
 I like it 
  March 22, 2013
I'm imagining seeing these at street level. Then I imagine being able to drive around the streets, in a 3d driving simulator, probably in Unity for a quick, simple game. LDD to something usable in a 3d environment shouldn't be too hard... I've gone off track, hahah. Great building as always. Love all the details you put into each and every one of your creations. :)
 I like it 
  March 22, 2013
Fantastic details! It's so breathtaking to look *down* at this building from the Willis Tower's Skydeck.
 I like it 
  March 22, 2013
Amazing! I love how you did the pathways through the park.
 
By Rocco Buttliere
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop 311 South Wacker, ChicagoLandmarks


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