Friday, August 13, 2010

Lake effect. And I'm not talking about the weather.

Last minute plans for a drive around the lake to Chicago turned into a great weekend. Not only did I get to see my fabulous cousin but we got to explore the city. Let’s be honest that’s a never ending adventure but, this time our endeavors led us to the new Aqua building.  It’s easily the coolest new building in the city but I think you either love it or hate it, needless to say I love it or you wouldn’t be reading this.    
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This 82 story building located in Chicago near both the Chicago River and Lake Michigan; takes on the effects of its liquid neighbors.  Its undulating concrete balconies create a soothing curve with a modern look, unlike any other skyscraper in the city. Each concrete layer is a different allowing the pattern to change and mimic waves, but it also made for rooms and balconies of all different shapes and sizes.  Residencies, condominiums, and apartments take up the majority of the building.  But there is space left for a hotel at some point. (I’d like to be in on that project J)

Sustainability wasn’t the first thing that came to mind when starting this project. However, Studio Gang Architects and Loewenberg & Associates came up with a few ways to reduce their footprint and are currently seeking LEED certification.

With nearly 7 miles of concrete waves wrapping the building they found a flex form steel that could be used to form the concrete and then would snap back into a straight line when finished.

And, coincidentally the same day I went to see it; I came home and checked DesignWire Daily.  Guess what building won 2009 skyscraper of the year? Yep, you guessed it.

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