One option was to follow the lead of other super-tall buildings such as the Willis Tower in Chicago,
Illinois, USA and use double-decker elevators that
allow two cabs to run vertically in the same shaft—
a design that takes up less floor space than other
options. However, some of the project consultants
were concerned about the cost implications of this
approach. To stay on budget, the team chose three
single-elevator cabs to serve the observation deck—
but this solution created a problem of its own.
“It took up additional floor space,” Mr. Uhlir
says. As a result, the tower’s twisting tapered top—
designed to reduce wind impact—suddenly became
a huge liability. To avoid having to resort to removing an entire floor, the design team made an atrium
taller, which reduced the floor-area square footage
and kept both the tapered top and the additional
elevator shafts intact. The solution was the result
of a combination of creative thinking, good communication and understanding individual skill sets
among team members, Ms. Lee says.
Two other signature design features—the tower’s
glimmering glass skin and the building’s sheer
size—required additional coordination with local
stakeholders, Mr. Uhlir says.
For instance, owners of adjacent buildings worried that the reflection from the building’s 20,589
customized glass panels—which serve as a see-through curtain—would create a disruptive glare.
So Mr. Uhlir’s team produced a report detailing
how the shape and placement of each panel would
address this issue. Laser technology also was used to
detect spots that created the greatest risk of glare.
But that solution required the team to place lasers
on neighboring buildings, which required working
with the owners to get approval.
In public meetings, pedestrians who frequent the
area expressed concerns that, in proximity to so
“We had to build consensus
[with this entire client group].
My project manager role
was to consolidate all the
comments and concerns.”
Glare from the building’s
20,589 customized glass
panels was a concern
for owners of adjacent
The tower’s signature feature is a
twisting top designed to reduce