232 – Chicago’s Mandalas

Chicago's Marina Towers floor plan
Chicago’s Marina Towers floor plan

Back in the 1960’s when Marina City, designed by architect, Bertrand Goldberg, was first being built in Chicago, its towers were the first circular apartment buildings in history; as well as being both the tallest concrete structures and tallest residential towers in the world. “More importantly, they were an experiment in a new urban philosophy: building a city within a city.”

Chicago's Marina Towers under construction
Chicago’s Marina Towers under construction

From the Blueprint Chicago site, they state this about Goldberg’s towers:

And Goldberg’s choice in the circle was based on more than just aesthetics. The circle gave the highest ratio of usable floor space to exterior skin. And to Goldberg the circle offered still something more. He once said, “(I) wanted to get people out of boxes, which are really psychological slums . . . those long hallways with scores of doors opening anonymously are inhuman. Each person should retain his relation to the core. It should be the relation of the branch to the tree, rather than that of the cell to the honeycomb.”

In a speech given by Goldberg himself, he states:

These buildings have been described as cylindrical. This is not true. The organization of the building is rather the organization of a tremendous sunflower – where the core is the center of the flower and each of the bays emanating from the core are very much – both in shape and in organization – like the petal of a flower.

How delightful! When we are willing to pay attention, Mother Nature provides a great source of inspiration for us all.

Happy Coloring!

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