Designed by internationally renowned architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the Chicago Spire has received approval from the City of Chicago Planning Commission. The 2,000ft-tall twisting tower will house 1,200 residences.

“I have always seen The Chicago Spire as part of a holistic development of the surrounding property and neighbourhood,” said Calatrava. “What excites me most about this project is the opportunity to not only design an innovative and soaring tower but to transform a naturally beautiful site into a truly special destination.”

The approved plan features several improvements on earlier designs that will enhance the Chicago Spire’s integration with the surrounding environment, including a spectacular four-storey transparent glass lobby, an underground parking garage for residents and a one-acre landscaped public plaza. Interestingly the Chicago Spire will be engineered to meet the gold standard of LEED certification, which dictates among other things that rainwater be recycled for landscaping treatments, river water be used for cooling and special glass be included to protect migratory birds.

Construction of the Chicago Spire is expected to begin spring 2007. The building will be completed by 2010.