Aqua is an 82-story mixed-use residential skyscraper in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Designed by a led by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, with James Loewenberg of Loewenberg & Associates as the Architect of Record. The buildings eighty-story,140,000 sq ft base is topped by a 82,550 sq ft terrace with gardens, gazebos, pools, hot tubs, a walking/running track, each floor covers approximately 16,000 sq ft. The Aqua was awarded the Emporis Skyscraper Award as 2009 skyscraper of the year, Aqua was designed by Jeanne Gang, principal and founder of Studio Gang Architects, and it was her first skyscraper project. The project was the largest ever awarded to an American firm headed by a woman, Loewenberg & Associates are the architects of record, led by James Loewenberg. The Aqua Tower is located at 225 North Columbus Drive, and is surrounded by high-rises, to capture views of nearby landmarks for Aquas residents, Gang stretched its balconies outward by as much as 12 ft. The result is a composed of irregularly shaped concrete floor slabs which lend the facade an undulating. Gang cites the striated limestone outcroppings that are a topographic feature of the Great Lakes region as inspiration for these slabs. The building contains 55,000 sq ft of retail and office space, in addition to 215 hotel rooms,476 rental residential units, Aqua is the first downtown building to combine condos, apartments and a hotel. Carlson Hotels Worldwide announced May 12,2010, that it agreed to spend $125 million to open the first Radisson Blu hotel in the United States on 18 vacant floors of the highrise, the name Aqua was assigned to the building by Magellan Development Group LLC. Sustainability was an important factor in Aquas design, Gang and her team refined the terrace extensions to maximize solar shading, and other sustainable features will include rainwater collection systems and energy-efficient lighting. The green roof on top of the base will be the largest in Chicago. The tower will seek LEED certification. construction. com/people/awards/2009/0107-PaulTreacy. asp
Image: Aqua Tower Chicago
Aqua Tower's striking eastern facade departs dramatically from the surrounding modernist high-rises in Chicago.