Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower, Chicago . This model consists of approximately 4,600 pieces. . This is my ninth custom skyscraper model and my twenty-second overall. Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower is one of Chicago's most unique buildings. It serves as the headquarters for Health Care Service Corporation and is located at 300 E. Randolph at the edge of Grant Park, across the street from Chicago's third tallest building, Aon Center.
This is my eleventh Chicago skyscraper model. I started designing this model originally in late 2011. I managed to design most of the overall tower, but decided to shelf it because I was not convinced of the color scheme I had in place, nor was I sure of how to fit in the multiple briefly exposed columns on the tower's north and south faces. Following the debut of the 1x2 trans-medium blue grill tile and the multiple new bracket sizes and configurations, I began working on the model again in September 2012. Build time was about fifteen hours, and overall time from conception to completion was almost a year. Model completed October 15, 2012.
Brickshelf photos here
The south face of the tower. BCBS Tower is Chicago's only building to have been built up on an already existing building. Originally, the building was a thirty-three story highrise built between 1995 and 1997. Architect James Goettsch designed the building with a unique adaptability; it would be able to accommodate vertical expansion. In 2007, ten years after its original completion, construction began to add an additional twenty-four floors on top of the existing structure. This was completed in 2010. The "new" tower now stands at 797 ft tall with fifty-seven floors.
The parapet houses maintenance equipment and air conditioning units. The 1x1 white and trans-blue round tiles represent the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois logos, which occupy the upper-left corner of the tower's south face. The model's roof is the most visible example of how I managed to fit the exposed columns in with brackets, while still allowing space for the angled sides which give the model the same trapezoidal shape as the real building.
The street level along E Randolph.
The outdoor plaza was probably the most enjoyable part to design. It consists mostly of SNOT very light grey and dark bluish-grey plates. Visible through the glass of the lower jut-out, are two mock-escalators I made using clip plates.
In the space between the original building and the expansion, the tower's load-bearing columns are exposed on all sides. Looking through this point provides an interesting perspective.
The three plaza flags are the flags of the USA, Illinois, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.
This is one of my more unique models in respect to how it's supported. The four 1x1 brick columns on the short sides are the only elements, besides gravity, holding the tower to the base. As seen in the picture to the left, each column is removable from the tower. Each one slides into a hole in the base and slides into the tower at two points where 1x2 plates simply friction-hold them in place.
This is also the first model I have put lobby details into. I was greatly inspired by Spencer Rezkalla's various lobby furnishings at Brickworld and decided to give it a try myself.
Similar to my John Hancock Center and Water Tower Place models, I attached my Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower and Aon Center models since they are next to each other in real life. Originally, there were plans to join these two buildings via underground walkway, but this plan never came to fruition.