John Hancock Center, Chicago . This model consists of nearly 4,400 pieces. . This is my ninth skyscraper based off of Spencer Rezkalla's original design, and my tenth overall. The John Hancock Center is a 100-story, 1,500 ft tall skyscraper in Chicago and was built by the firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in 1970. The same firm is responsible for many other skyscrapers around the world, including the Willis (Sears) Tower, Trump International Hotel & Tower, and Burj Khalifa; all of which I have made models of.
The building consists of a rectangular tubular system that tapers on all sides. The most distinct features of the tower's facade are the steel X-brace beams that lace the corners of the building together, providing increased structural support, durability, and maximum internal floor space. In fact, when it was featured in the TV series "Life After People," the John Hancock Center was put into a scenario that shows how long the tower could stand before total structural failure and ensuing collapse if every person on Earth vanished and no one was around to maintain it. While the Willis (Sears) Tower a few blocks south only lasted 200 years, the Hancock Center endured for two and a half centuries because of the support and longevity provided by the exterior x-braces.
This model is my third skyscraper from Chicago. To provide the four-sided taper in the model, there is a central core of bricks that attaches to four panels, consisting of the tower's windows, at three different spots each. These panels are then more securely fastened to each other and the core using the model's X-braces which attach to the corners. Overall, the model consists of six seperate pieces that either attach to each other or are held tightly in position by sliding into purposely placed "gaps" in the other pieces. This model took over a year, off & on, to design, roughly 10-15 hours to build, and an overall year to complete. Model completed May 8, 2011.
More photos on Brickshelf
Construction photos here
LEGOŽ Digital Designer files here
When measured to pinnacle height at the top of its antennas, the John Hancock Center is the fifth tallest building in the world. It is also the third tallest building with residential units, after Trump International Hotel & Tower (also in Chicago) and Burj Khalifa. The tower is also a member of the World Federation of Great Towers and contains America's highest indoor swimming pool at the 44th floor sky lobby.
The building's sunken semi-circle plaza along N Michigan Avenue. The sunken plaza includes a waterfall fountain, public stair access, and several storefronts such as Jamba Juice and Cheesecake Factory along the circumference.
The main entrance along E Chestnut St and the gold awning over one of the entrances to the plaza's Cheesecake Factory restaurant.
The parking garage ramp with access to the building via catwalk. To the right of the ramp, there is access along Mies Van Der Rohe Way to the underground parking concourse.
The small black building next to the tower is 195 E Delaware Place. Between this building and the Hancock, there is an access road to underground parking.
The signs of The North Face store at the northwest corner of the tower are represented by two 1x1 dark red tiles.
The John Hancock Center's Best Buy store window is mimicked using a 1x2 trans-dark blue brick.
Looking up at the tower from the Magnificent Mile; N Michigan Avenue.
The antennas of the building are both over 400 ft tall, although the east antenna is tallest.
The John Hancock Center Observatory is sky blue during the day, replicated in the model using the vertical sides of ten 1x2 maersk blue profile bricks. At night, the observatory level is lit with themed colors for various holidays. For instance red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July and red and green for Christmastime.
The tower's distinctive X-braces
From left to right:Trump International Hotel & Tower (my seventh model), John Hancock Center (my tenth model), and Willis (Sears) Tower (my first model).