Trump International Hotel and Tower

Trump International Hotel And Tower
  1. About the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Trump International Hotel and Tower is a Contemporary skyscraper designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, with Adrian Smith as lead architect, and built between 2005 and 2009, for a reported $847 million dollars, in Chicago, IL.

Its precise street address is 401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

When Donald Trump first announced the construction of his tower in Chicago, he claimed it would become the tallest building in the world, with 150 floors. However that all changed after the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC. After the attacks there as generalized fear towards high-rises, and for a few years the aim to build higher and higher was refrained.

Nevertheless, the Trump Tower is not low by any means. When it was completed in 2009 it claimed the title of second tallest building in the US, only second to the Willis Tower, also located in the city of Chicago.

Another fact that film fans might find interesting is that the the final fight between Batman and the Jocker in the film The Dark Night was shot in the Summer of 2007 at the very top of the tower, as it was still undergoing construction.

At the time of its completion in 2009 the Trump International Hotel and Tower incorporated solutions that were quite advanced at the time, these included the use of water from the Chicago River for cooling purposes. The cooling system returns the used water back to the river, avoiding the expensive pump system traditionally employed by these skyscrapers, which typically expels water vapor from the rooftop.

Building's timeline

Design begins
Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, with Adrian Smith as the lead architect, was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Commonly known as SOM, the firm was founded in Chicago in 1936 and has grown to be one of the largest architecture firms in the world.

Even long after its founders passed away, SOM has remained at the top of worldwide architectural excellence by attracting visionary architects. Amongst their most notorious partners we find names such as Gordon Bunshaft, Bruce Graham, Walter Netsch, Adrian Smith, Myron Goldsmith or David Childs.

SOM has also managed to grow and evolve to tackle the architectural challenges of each time, whatever those might be, and today is committed to aspects as important as efficiency and sustainability, as core values of their designs.

With a legacy spanning decades, SOM continues to shape the skylines of cities around the world, and is a usual contestant in any competition or selection process to design large-scale or iconic buildings and structures.

Skidmore Owings Merrill

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline involving many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the Trump International Hotel and Tower a reality:

  • William F. Baker in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Bovis Lend Lease as the Main Contractor
  • Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Inc., and Permasteelisa Group in charge of Facade Consultancy
  • KONE as the company in charge of the elevators system
  • Donald Trump as the Main Developer
  • WMA Consulting Engineers Ltd in charge of MEP Engineering
  • McGinley Desing in charge of Landscape Architecture
  • PMG Arquitectos in charge of Interior Design

Architectural Style

The Trump International Hotel and Tower can be categorized as a Contemporary building.

Contemporary style architecture builds on top of the principles of Modernism and Postmodernism, but incorporates other variables which might not have been that important in the past, but certainly are today, such as technology, sustainability, inclusivity, and others.

From a historical point of view, it is hard to categorize things from a not-so-distant time, and therefore we choose to categorize most buildings built after the year 2000 as "Contemporary". It is possible that as time goes by and we, as a society, gain perspective on the things happening today, we'll be able to look back and recategorize all these buildings into more concrete subsections, some of which might not even exist today.

That being said, by today's standards the Trump International Hotel and Tower could probably be clasified as a ["high-tech"] building. Only time will tell if ["high-tech"] will grow and stick onto the history books, or if perhaps it will become a substyle of a larger style. Only time will tell. Until then, saying that the Trump International Hotel and Tower is a Contemporary Trump International Hotel and Tower building, is the best we can do.

Spaces & Uses

The Trump International Hotel and Tower reaches an architectural height of 1181ft (360m), 1388ft (423m) if you count the antenna, with the last accesible floor being 1171ft (357m) off the gorund. It has a total of 97 floors, 92 above ground and 5 basements, served by 27 elevators.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 960 spots available, which roughly equals 10 spots per floor (above ground).

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 2009, the Trump International Hotel and Tower has been a mixed use building. It incorporates 3 main uses, which are hotel, residential, and commercial spaces.

About the Hotel

The hotel is a 5 stars category hotel, with a total of 339 rooms available to the public. The name of the hotel is Trump International Hotel and Tower.

1388ft (423m)
1181ft (360m)
1171ft (357m)
5 basements

Materials & Structure

The Trump International Hotel and Tower uses a frame structure made of reinforced concrete columns and beams.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

To enable the Trump Tower to withstand the strong wind loads in Chicago, SOM employed a structural system commonly referred to as "bundled tube construction." The building features a central core of concrete with concrete arms (stabilizers) extending along several key floors The stabilizers link the central core to an outer ring of structural columns. This method, also utilized in the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, designed by the same team of architects and engineers at SOM, allows for both design flexibility and structural strength.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a continuous blue-tinted glass curtain wall. Each module of the curtain wall is divided into a large pane of glass, a small spandrel also made of the same glass, and a thin section paneled in light grey, which marks the level of the floor slabs that hide behind the curtain wall.

From ground to tip, the tower is divided into 4 sections, each of them with a smaller footprint than the one below. The change of one section to another is not only marked by the corresponding setback of the facade, but also by a continuous ribbon of metallic grids that interrupt the continuity of the curtain wall. These are the technical floors, and the metallic grids allow for the machinery inside to refrigerate and ventilate properly.