The Best of Brisbane, Nighttime Edition: 111 Eagle Street

111 Eagle Street Brisbane Queensland Australia

111 Eagle Street stands out from the rest on the Brisbane skyline.

If you wander the streets of Brisbane during the light of day, but head indoors when the sun disappears, you’ll miss out some of the greatest views I’ve ever experienced, in any city.

Story Bridge Brisbane

Story Bridge from the Brisbane Riverwalk.

Here’s what you should do: When it gets dark, head down to the riverwalk along the Brisbane River, and keep going until you see the pretty blue lights framing Story Bridge. Then walk to the bridge itself and begin crossing the river. Now, stop. And just look.

From this vantage point, you’ll find Brisbane’s most spectacular piece of after-dark architecture, 111 Eagle Street. Designed by Cox Architecture (we saw their work at Conservatory Melbourne), developed by GPT Funds Management, and built by CIMIC Group111 Eagle Street opened in 2012. During the day, the 54-story tower doesn’t make the same impression. But just wait until you see it light up.

 

Avant another skyscraper in Melbourne! And I always get what Avant.

Avant Melbourne

Avant reaches for sunlight in the high-rise forest of Melbourne’s CBD.

May Melbourne never stop building.

In a city that seems to have skyscrapers rising on every block, the especially-busy northwest section of Melbourne’s Central Business District is a construction lover’s dream. Let’s take a look at another project in the neighborhood.

Avant is a 55-story apartment tower at 54 A’Beckett Street (I need someone to explain the derivation of that street name; specifically, why there’s an initial, then an apostrophe.) Developed by the Singapore (talk about another bucket-list destination for me!) firm of World Class Global, Avant is yet another sparkling design by Elenberg Fraser, who keep cranking out one stunning building after another.

Avant will feature 456 apartments, with amenities included on floors 10 and 55. Probuild is the builder on this one. We’ve seen their work in Sydney and Gold Coast, too.

I don’t usually include a whole mess of renderings, but the images on Elenberg Fraser’s website of Avant are gorgeous, so here they all are: (construction photos in the 2nd gallery)

All renderings belong to www.pointilism.com.au

And now, the construction shots, which all belong to me 🙂

 

 

 

Essex on the Park gets ready for a tower crane jump, begins cladding installation

Essex on the Park

If you pretend all those supports are trees, you can envision the winter garden taking shape on the 7th floor of Essex on the Park.

Big milestones in the life of Essex on the Park, the 56-story, 476-unit apartment tower at 808 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop. After receiving a permit from the City of Chicago on November 8 to jump the tower crane, Power Construction will do just that this weekend.

Also appearing on site are the first few panels of cladding on the exterior. Most of it is hidden at the north, rear corner of the tower, but there are a few small panels installed right out in front. You can also see the extra-tall 7th floor taking shape. That’s where Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture included the infinity pool and winter garden in the design. Hence, the extra space.

Oxford Capital Group is developing Essex on the Park, along with renovations of its namesake hotel next door, the Essex Inn. Work is expected to conclude in 2019.

Essex On The Park is becoming Noticeable In The Skyline

Essex On The Park

See it over there? Essex On The Park is starting to show through the trees of Grant Park.

From the east side of Grant Park, looking west, you can see Essex On The Park beginning its slow creep into the Chicago skyline. That’s what going vertical can do for a 56-story tower.

The giant, shiny, 476-unit project by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects will add 476 apartments to the Michigan Avenue streetwall. Oxford Capital Group, Essex On The Park’s developer, plans to have the residences open for move-ins in 2019. Remember that this project also includes the upgrading of the Essex Inn next door, expanding its capacity to 281 guest rooms.

That short red stubby tower crane Power Construction is using to build the apartment tower is fast becoming one of Chicago’s most photogenic. Take a walk around Grant Park, by by changing your location, you can use different buildings as a backdrop. Or, walk through the South Loop to the west, on Wabash or State Street, and get clear blue skies behind the tower crane. I know, I sound obsessed, but try it. You’ll see.

 

Essex On The Park is a Tower On The Rise in the South Loop

Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park is starting to rise alongside its mother ship, the Essex Inn.

One floor at a time, Essex On The Park is starting to show itself along the Michigan Avenue Streetwall in the South Loop. Of course, we ain’t seen nothing yet. What’s pictured is merely a fraction of the eventual 56 stories that will house 476 new apartments. And that’s a good thing. It means we have lots of progress still to come, lots of watching still to do.

My really big, very good day: A view of Chicago from inside 150 North Riverside

150 North Riverside

150 North Riverside is open and spectacular along the Chicago River.

If being obsessed with a building is a problem, then those of you who know me well (or know me at all, let’s be honest here) know I have a problem.

150 North Riverside is my obsession. And problem. If I ever manage to salvage the thousands of photos on the hard drive I dropped of construction of Goettsch Partners’ Chicago office tower, I’ll post them one at a time and you’ll understand what I mean. But you can see into a few of those portals via blog posts here, here, here, and most recently, here.

It started with the sinking of the Chicago River Barge, quite possibly the most famous demise of a water-going vessel in the history of mankind. And just like that, I became mesmerized by construction. I’d go downtown just to stand on the Randolph Street bridge and see how much progress had been made. When we moved to the West Loop, I’d go out of my way to get to and from the L so I could watch.

Before I was ready to let go, 150 North Riverside was done. And I’ll admit to a tinge of sadness in its construction coming to an end. Not just because there would be no more progress to mark, but because I feared the tower would now become a mystery to me. Sure, the plaza outside is a fantastic space, and open to the public 24/7 for wandering through, or enjoying an al fresco lunch. The lobby even has open hours too. But what reason would I ever have to go inside and see Chicago from this vantage point? Maybe I could find a lawyer with an office there, and threaten to sue someone so I could meet for a consultation.

But then along came my angel. Thanks to Shelby Edwards and the William Blair Company, which started moving its Chicago offices into the tower back in June, I got to go inside this magical building last week. William Blair occupies about a dozen floors in the upper half of the tower. I hung out for awhile on the 46th floor, the main reception area. An amazing space, it offers 360-degree views from a host of meeting rooms, classrooms, and small breakout offices.

And then there’s the art. I respectfully avoided photographing any of the artwork; that usually feels like something you shouldn’t do. But imagine two busts, made of layers hunks of drywall cut from the walls behind the busts. Yeah, it’s as cool as it is hard to describe.

I didn’t spend my entire hour with Shelby taking photos of tower cranes; I captured lots of Chicago views. But those memories are for me. To keep with the theme of this blog, here now are the shots I took to share with you; as many cranes as I could find from the 35th and 46th floors of 150 North Riverside:

Essex On The Park is Off Of The Ground

Essex On The Park goes vertical

Essex On The Park is beginning its climb into the Michigan Avenue skyline.

Essex On The Park raised a tower crane earlier this month, and now work has begun going vertical along Michigan Avenue in the South Loop. Power Construction has 56 stories to stack atop each other, so there’s a whole lot of work to do. But that’s what tower cranes are for, right? Wait and see; this thing will be topped out in no time.

A few reminders for you as Essex On The Park begins to rise: It’s a development from Oxford Capital Group. It’s designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. As previously mentioned, Power Construction is the general contractor. 808 South Michigan Avenue is the address. There will be 476 apartments, 84 parking spots, and some ground-floor retail space. Oxford plans to have the apartment tower open to residents in 2019.