Santiago Calatrava’s 2,000-foot-tall Chicago Spire is a lofty experiment in bird-safe design. The residential skyscraper is rising in the midst of a large year-round bird population and in the path of a major migratory flyway on the shores of Lake Michigan, but its glass is designed to be visible to birds, which should help prevent fatal collisions.
Studio Gang Architects included several bird-friendly elements in its design of the Ford Calumet Environmental Center in Chicago, a 28,000-square-foot environmental education center due to open in 2009 (top) To reduce the possibility of bird strikes on the building’s south elevation, a porch is enclosed with a basket-like mesh with four-inch openings (second image). Studio Gang also incorporated bird-friendly strategies into the design of Solstice on the Park, a 26-story condominium tower in Chicago’s Jackson Park district, due to open in 2010 (third image). Low-e glass on the tower’s south elevation is angled to create self-shading and reduces its reflective qualities (above).