Monday, March 2, 2015

Jeanne Gang's Aqua and its Neighbor

Aqua and its Wacker Buddy (JWB Photo)
Five years ago an article in The New Yorker began with this description of Jeanne Gang’s Aqua . . .

She started with a fairly conventional rectangular glass slab, then transformed it by wrapping it on all four sides with wafer-thin, curving concrete balconies, describing a different shape on each floor.  Gang turned the façade into an undulating landscape of bending, flowing concrete, as if the wind were blowing ripples across the surface of the building.  You know the tower is huge and solid, but it feels malleable, its exterior pulsing with a gentle rhythm.  [The New Yorker, February 1, 2010]

Look up at Aqua the next time you are wandering along the river east of the Hyatt.  It’s a magnificent contrast – the “pulsing rhythms” of Aqua lapping against the strict triangular symmetry of Harry Weese’s Swissøtel. ‘

For 125 million bucks Weese gave the city the first high-rise building east of Michigan Avenue that actually acknowledged, reflected and amplified the meeting of river, lake and sky.  Aqua, certainly a presence in its own right, does nothing to diminish that. 

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