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Check out the renderings for Studio Gang's 1,100-foot Wanda Vista tower

Written by
Clayton Guse

Last spring, Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang released renderings for Wanda Vista, a riverside tower that is poised to become the city's third-tallest building. Expected to break ground next year, the building will be on the south side of the river along Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. 

The tower will have three tiers at tentative heights of 47, 71 and 93 stories, and will house more than 400 apartments and a swanky new hotel. In a video describing the building's design, Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang said that the concept for Wanda Vista was inspired by "frustum geometry," which occurs naturally in certain forms of crystals. 

Assuming there are no licensing or permit holdups, the tower will exceed the Aon Center's height of 1,136 feet. The building is expected to open in 2019, which is 10 years after Studio Gang's Aqua Tower opened in the same neighborhood. That project was the largest building to ever be awarded to an American firm headed by a woman, and Wanda Vista is set to take over that distinction. 

The name of the building comes from Chinese property development conglomerate Wanda Group, which is led by one of China's richest residents, Wang Jianlin. The building is a part of a larger downtown residential construction trend—10,000 new residential units are expected to come to the city's center by the end of next year. 

Perhaps once Wanda Vista opens, the Loop will actually become a cool place to hang out. 

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