This model consists of approximately 5,500 pieces.
About this creation
AMA Plaza is located at 330 N Wabash Ave in Chicago. Formerly and colloquially known as IBM Plaza, the building was designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a corporate office building for IBM. Sadly, the architect did not live long enough to see its construction. The building was completed in 1973.
This is my thirty-second skyscraper model and my nineteenth Chicago skyscraper model. After two years at IIT in Chicago, I decided it was high time I made a model of a Mies building. The one clear advantage of modeling this building is that it allowed for the connecting together of several other of my Chicago skyscraper models. The model took about three weeks to design, about five days to build, and an overall month to complete. Model completed July 9, 2014.
Overlooking the Chicago River, AMA Plaza rises to 695 ft at fifty-two stories tall. It is the second-tallest building designed by Mies and features many unique design considerations for an office building as well as many of the architect's signature design "flares." The structural system of the building was designed to accommodate raised floor systems for running electrical wiring throughout each floor; a feature that is rather uncommon among office buildings, though not surprising considering IBM was the main tenant.
The building is offset from the angled edge of the river, incorporating a spacious plaza which provides views across the river. The curtain wall fašade of the building is accented by numerous evenly-spaced wide flanges, or "I-beams," that attach to the mullions, but serve no structural purpose. This is a common design characteristic among Mies' skyscrapers, as they add ornamentation and enhance the feeling of depth to an otherwise simple, glass box. The actual structural columns are only exposed at the plaza level and the corners.
A view of the portion of the riverwalk along Wacker Dr and Heald Square, across from AMA Plaza. At street level, the minifig statuette represents a statue of Robert Morris and Haym Salomon alongside President George Washington.
The backside of the plaza where E Kinzie St lowers beneath Wabash Ave.
The design of the building's lobby is also quite characteristic of Mies' buildings. Behind the exposed structural columns, a clear, glass plane separates the interior and exterior, within which are block-like masses that house utilities and elevators. Like some of my other models, I have sought to accurately depict the captivating lobby space of this building.
Looking up from the Wabash Ave bridge. In designing this model, I decided to include vertical lines of solid black plate between the trans-black windows in an effort to convey the ornamental wide flanges on the exterior. While these small wide flanges are not extruded far enough from the building to justify the use of rail plates, I feel that the black plates help to capture this quality quite well. Additionally, the corner columns were a seemingly simple design solution: Drawing from the discovery of the use of technic axles at the "corner" of a building I had made when designing my United Building model.
Looking at just the base of the building, you can see the various goings-on of the technic axles in the SNOT surface of the plaza. The axle in the middle of the rectangular footprint simply slides into the axle hole of a 24-tooth technic gear which is attached to the bottom-most segment of the tower.
I designed the base of this model so that it would provide a seamless, geographically accurate continuation of my previous Trump-Wrigley landscape with my Marina City and 35 East Wacker models. From left to right: 35 East Wacker, Marina City, AMA Plaza, Trump International Hotel & Tower, & Wrigley Building. My first contiguous Chicago River cityscape!
I also revisited my Marina City and Trump Tower models to add their respective opposite shorelines and street levels, in order to form a seamless portrayal of the Chicago River and riverwalk.