This model consists of approximately 2,500 pieces.
About this creation
This is my fourteenth custom skyscraper model and my twenty-seventh overall. Located at 77 West Wacker in Chicago, the United Building, formerly known as the RR Donnelley Building, is a forty-nine floor office skyscraper. Though post-modern in style, the building draws heavily from themes of classical architecture.
This is my fifteenth Chicago skyscraper model. This is my first model whose structure consists entirely of technic axles and thin liftarms. The outer white axles are 16 studs in length, with two on top of one another for each column. Spanning the entire height, and holding the model as one solid piece, are four 32-length black technic axles on the inside. The model took about three weeks to design, about twelve hours to build and an overall two months to complete. Model completed September 21, 2013.
The 668 ft United Building has been occupied by a wide variety of tenants since its completion in 1992. Such tenants include Microsoft, McGuireWoods, RR Donnelley (for which the building was formerly named) and United Airlines (for which the building is currently named). Currently, United Airlines is in the process of moving their offices in the building to Willis Tower.
The exterior, as well as much of the interior, is modeled in the classical Greek style, although Post-Modern in design. In the real building, the horizontal spandrel appears slightly more pronounced than the vertical spandrel. For this reason, I opted to use technic axles for the vertical and thin technic liftarms for the horizontal. This also allowed for the glass between the recessed corners to be exposed, further enhancing the realism. I am especially satisfied with the technique of the corners, as it adds another possible solution to detailing corners, which is an area that is usually the trickiest part in designing.
The United Building is also well-known for its copper, gabled roof as it is visible from both the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower observatories. I knew I wanted to do this model since the 3x3 double concave slope in sand green came out in early 2013.
Some chrome grill tiles represent the chrome ornamentation around the base of the building. The use of the vehicle mudguard as an arch over the main entrance is inspired from Spencer Rezkalla's Woolworth Building model.
A catwalk over the plaza allows tenants to access the neighboring building.
The multi-tiered outdoor plaza. Vines covering the plaza's south end are represented with olive green elements.