Sunday, June 17

got the t-shirt

Before starting landscape architecture school in the fall, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to coach sailing in Chicago this summer.

IMG_0960.JPGBelmont Harbor.

Even though the whole plan was to avoid design work for a few months, I couldn't help but get excited when my boss offered $100 to the instructor that designed the best sailing school t-shirt.

Living in Chicago for the first time in 7 years, I've found that the Hancock Center has supplanted the Sears Tower as the city's favorite skyscraper. I decided to incorporate the tapered tower into my t-shirt design.

IMG_1288.JPGThe Hancock Tower.

Pondering the iconic building's distinctive cross-bracing, I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite sights in sailing: two boats crossing tacks upwind. After some online searching, I was able to find a great piece of graphic design from the 1987 America's Cup.

Duel, by Keith Reynolds. (From AllPosters)

Initially, I thought that the graphic would be a bit sparse with only one tower, so I decided to incorporate two other iconic Chicago buildings.

The Sears Tower. (From LensImpressions)

The Smurfit-Stone Building. (From ChicagoSage)

When I finished the design, however, I thought it was a bit busy.

cyc shirt_7d.jpg

I took out the Sears Tower and the Smurfit-Stone, but I'm not sure it's better. Which one do you like?

cyc shirt_7c.jpg

We'll see what the other instructors come up with...

Wednesday, June 6

under construction

Last year I moved into a new apartment in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I loved the place, but there was one problem: a new building was under construction next door. When I complained about the noise, however, my dad made a good point: 'At least you can learn how they build apartment buildings.'

IMG_1926.JPGJune 1, 2006.

When I visited the apartment for the first time, contractors were clearing the remains of old garages that had been demolished on the site.

IMG_2168.JPGAugust 15, 2006.

Within a few weeks, the builders were digging foundations for the new building.

IMG_3690.JPGSeptember 13, 2006.

For about a month, a pumping truck poured concrete into wooden frames to build the foundation.

IMG_4732.JPGOctober 14, 2006.

Once the foundation was finished, prefabricated concrete floor plates were lifted on top. When the floor plates were anchored into place, workers built cinder block walls to support the next level.

IMG_4812.JPGOctober 26, 2006.

As each set of walls were completed, a new set of floor plates were lifted by a crane into place.

IMG_5549.JPGNovember 18, 2006.

And then another level of cinder block walls was added...

IMG_5851.JPGDecember 6, 2006.

The large crane that lifted the floor plates into place is visible in this photo. On days like this when the floors were being installed, the street was filled with 18-wheelers carrying prefabricated concrete plates.

IMG_6612February 10, 2007.

During a powerful windstorm in February, several strips of plastic blew off the roof and over the side of the building. They made a loud whipping sound that kept me up at night -- it was quite annoying. It was the only time that it seemed like anything went awry in the process, though. Overall, I was very impressed with the efficiency of the construction.

IMG_6810.JPGFebruary 26, 2007.

By the time winter started flexing its muscle, most of the structural elements were finished. As snow fell on the site, the construction workers were installing elements of the building's interior.

IMG_6868.JPGMarch 3, 2007.

On the night of March 3rd, the construction site was lit by a partial lunar eclipse. It was a surreal sight.

IMG_7721.JPGApril 10, 2007.

IMG_8051.JPGApril 19, 2007.

By mid-April, work had begun on the cosmetic elements of the building's exterior. Exposed cinder block walls were covered in brick and the window panes were put in place.

IMG_0437.JPGMay 21, 2007.

IMG_0164.JPGMay 31, 2007.

365 days after I first photographed the construction site, the lease on my apartment expired. After I finished moving out, I made sure to return one last time to take a final picture. Soon the building will be finished, but I won't get to see it. Nonetheless, my dad was right: now I know how they build apartment buildings.

Full construction photoset here.