Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicago’s Wavy Skyscraper — Aqua Tower

Aqua is an 86-story mixed-use residential skyscraper in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago. Designed by a team led by Jeanne Gang, the building is the tallest in the world to have a woman as lead architect, at 859 ft. The form of the Aqua is extremely unique. Composed of irregularly shaped concrete slabs, Gang cites the striated limestone out croppings that are a common topographic feature of the Great Lakes region as inspiration for these slabs. But this sinuous shape is not just a mere formal gesture, but it is also a strategy to extend the views and maximize solar shading. The wave-like form of the building is both organic and fluid. This simulates a continuous motion as spectators move around the structure.


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