Marina City

These two towers sprouting on the strategic point on the banks of the Chicago River, are among the skyscrapers most frequently illustrated on the city souvenirs. Their brusque, corncob appearance was so innovative and captivating that it has inspired Japanese architect Kiyonori Kikutake, one of the founders of Metabolist movement in his theoretical works. He used the buildings to typify the idea of capsules suspended to the central core.

Built in the beginning of the sixties, the Marina City complex was at that time a herald of the new approach to the housing, office space, recreation and parking, all stationed in the same structure. The aim was to create a sort of a vertical city, a microcosm, an efficient place to live and work without leaving the premises. The architecture of the towers is an embodiment of that philosophy and culture of living and a marvel of the mid-century modernism.

The spiral parking garage at the bottom carries the stem core and identical, wedge shaped petals blossoming from the center. Each of the petals is a module of the apartment unit, accommodating different types of apartments on every floor. The stark, entirely structurally aesthetic building, futuristic at the time, remains a manifesto of the possible future of the cities.

 

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