Things about Navy Pier Ferris Wheel:
1.Nearly 16 million people have experienced the Ferris wheel since it opened in 1995.
2.Dutch Wheels based in Vlodrop, Netherlands is the designer of the new wheel. Dutch Wheels is a global leader in standalone giant wheels. Ferris wheels designed by Dutch Wheels can be found in well-known tourist locations throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Dutch Wheels designs, manufactures, and sells wheels to leisure developments in tourist areas while working with local entrepreneurs, local authorities, real estate developers and architects.
3.Dutch Wheels is the manufacturer of Navy Pier’s old Ferris wheel. Dutch Wheels is a member of the Vekoma Rides Company which manufactured Navy Pier’s old Ferris wheel in the ’90s.
3. Navy Pier’s new Ferris wheel is 196 feet high and has 42 gondolas. The old Ferris wheel stood at 147 feet high and had 40 gondolas.
4.The new wheel is the same model as the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. The Hong Kong Observation Wheel opened in December 2014 and was structurally strengthened for the typhoon winds in Hong Kong. The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel benefited from the additional structural strength because of Chicago’s harsh weather conditions.
5.The gondolas will be climate controlled and have a higher passenger capacity. The gondolas are closed, air conditioned and have special Low-e High Tech safety glass to ensure an optimum climate inside. Each gondola seats up to eight adults and two children. The wheel can hold a maximum load of 414 passengers at once.
6.The gondolas will be colored ‘Navy Pier blue.’ The old Ferris wheel gondolas were red, but the new Ferris wheel will match Navy Pier’s signature blue color.
7.The gondolas will have a multimedia entertainment system. Inside each gondola, there is an entertainment system with interactive video screens that will play interesting facts during the ride.
8.The new Navy Pier Ferris Wheel will be equipped with individual seats. The old Ferris wheel has bench seats which have been used in previous Ferris wheel models and in most giant wheels throughout the world. But the new Navy Pier Ferris Wheel will have individual seating.
Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago, with its signature black aluminum and bronze-tinted glare-reducing glass, was the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years. Completed in 1974, Willis Tower set the standard for supertall skyscrapers around the globe, both in its innovative design and graceful styling. With 416,000 square meters of space, the building is comparatively large for its height, with its foundation and the first 50 floors taking up an entire city block before the building begins to narrow.
The step-back design of the structure was designed by the architects as a direct result of Sears’ space requirements. The designers were required to develop a building that incorporated not only very large office floors, which were necessary to Sears’ operation, but also a variety of smaller floors which would be more suitable for tenants requiring less floor area. These requirements resulted in a bundled tube structure, the first of its kind. This innovative design was not only structurally efficient, but it also managed to be economical as well. It has proven to be a remarkably influential design typology, and has been used in most supertall buildings built since the Willis Tower, including the Burj Khalifa.
An assortment of features has kept the tower active, inviting, and efficient over its operational life. An undulating Alexander Calder sculpture greets office workers in the west lobby. Meanwhile, a 2009 addition to the observation deck affords visitors with vertigo-inducing views of Chicago via “The Ledge,” a series of boxes with transparent floors that extrude from the top of the building. Although the Willis Tower was built in an age before sustainable design matured, the building’s owners have recently implemented several sustainable elements, including low-flow fixtures that conserve more than 38 million liters of water annually, and high-efficiency lighting systems that help curb electrical load.