Alexandra Lange | Essays

In Metropolis: Blue Sky Thinking

What’s really happening at Inland Steel? An ambitious LEED Platinum master plan by SOM, the 1958 building’s original architects, attracted the press, but the economy and landmarks regulations created a more modest reality.

SOM wanted to create new potential for Inland Steel (and new value for its owner) by making a landmark as innovative now as when it was new. The preservationists feel they must keep all the material that, incredibly, still remains, 52 years after its construction. So Inland Steel remains an icon of the past, when we have the ability, technology, and design skills to make it Platinum in the present. “Working through this process, we learned you can create a holistic approach for retrofits that is accessible and tangible,” Apking says. “It should be possible to create that product.”

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Posted in: Architecture, Social Good

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