Aqua in Chicago

Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of October, 2008
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress: April, 2008
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress: April, 2008
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress: April, 2008
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of September, 2007
Photo of Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Construction progress as of September, 2006

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225 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60601
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A daring piece of architecture for The Loop area, Aqua comes off more as a massive sculpture than as a residential block in the crowded heart of the city. The name "Aqua" is in keeping with the nautical theme most of the buildings in the Lakeshore East development have: The Tides, The Shoreham, The Regatta, etc... But while those were conventional skyscrapers, Aqua is special. At its heart it is the standard glass box we've seen before. But protruding from its surface are undulating concrete balconies resembling ripples or waves. This is an appropriate homage considering the building's location near both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. But the ripples are not without challenge. Much like each wave in the lake, each floor plate in Aqua is unique, thus construction is unusually complicated. And for homeowners, not all units are equal. While some people may have a balcony up to 12 feet wide, others will be measuring theirs with a ruler rather than a yardstick. Aqua was originally envisioned as a split between condominiums and a hotel. Because of changing economic factors some of the condominium units were changed to apartments. Further economic turmoil took its toll on the hotel aspect of this project. Strategic Hotels & Resorts planned to buy 15 floors of Aqua to expand its Fairmont Hotel across the street, but in October, 2008 it pulled out of the project. Four years later, a Radisson Blu opened in the space.

Quick Facts
  • Hotel rooms: 334
  • Residences: 718
  • Apartments: 474
  • Condominiums: 264
  • Floor space: 1,900,000 square feet
  • September 1, 2006: Groundbreaking.
  • October 3, 2008: Crain's Chicago Business reported that Strategic Hotels & Resorts has pulled out of its $84 million deal to buy 15 floors of this building to expand the Fairmont Hotel across Columbus Drive.
  • 2009: Plans to develop the hotel portion of this building were put on hold when the developer's hotel partner backed off its expansion plans.
  • November 16, 2009: This building was connected to the Chicago pedway system.
  • May 14, 2010: Carlson Hotels Worldwide bought the hotel portion of this building and announced plans to spend $125 million developing it into the first Raddison Blu in America.
  • September, 2010: This building was named #22 on Chicago Magazine's list of the Top 40 Buildings in Chicago.
  • November, 2010: Construction began on the hotel portion of this project.
  • December, 2011: A Radisson Blu opened in this building's hotel space.
  • Architect: Jeanne Gang
  • Architect: Jim Loewenberg
  • Design architecture firm: Studio Gang Architects
  • Architect of record: Loewenberg & Associates
  • Developer: Magellan Development
  • It is often said that this is the tallest building designed by a woman. This is incorrect. However, it is the tallest building in the United States designed by a woman.
  • The hotel has a 20,000 square-foot ballroom.
  • This building formerly used the address 430 East Waterside Drive.
  • This building's balconies have a total of seven miles of railings.
  • This building rests on 31 main rock caissons drilled 112 feet deep and six feet into a layer of dolomite. These are supplemented by 274 smaller bell caissons sunk into clay.
  • During construction, crews called the areas where the balconies fade away "burn zones."
  • This was one of the filming locations for the 2011 movie Transformers 3.
  • Because of the building's rippling balconies, each floor plate is unique and each level's concrete pour was different.
Related Video
Jeanne Gang on Aqua
Architect Jeanne Gang talks about the challenges of building Aqua in Chicago.

Video courtesy of the McGraw-Hill Construction Video Library.

Stacking Diagram
Did You Know?
  • Because of the building's rippling balconies, each floor plate is unique and each concrete pour was different.
Green Things
  • This was the first building in Chicago to have public charging stations for electric cars.
Rate This Skyscraper
method='post' action='/Building.php?ID=913#Rate'>Current rating:50% 80%  name='Rating' id='Rating' value='Praise' class='Plain'> name='Rating' id='Rating' value='Raze' class='Plain'>
Aqua in Chicago.  Photo by Lisa Hart
Image courtesy of Lisa Hart
Aqua in Chicago.  Photo by Lisa Hart
Image courtesy of Lisa Hart
Aqua in Chicago.  Photo by Lisa Hart
Image courtesy of Lisa Hart
Aqua in Chicago.  Photo by Lisa Hart
Image courtesy of Lisa Hart
Aqua in Chicago.  Photo by John MacGregor
Photograph courtesy of John MacGregor
Your Thoughts

There are 79 comments.

  This distinctive, imaginative building is surprisingly hard to get a good overall look at. From many vantage points along Michigan Avenue or in the park it is obscured by foreground buildings in the Randolph Street wall; while from Wacker Drive it is somewhat hidden by Swisshotel and the new Coast. Too bad; its sinuous, varied surfaces are a delight.

Alan Follett - Friday, September 14th, 2012 @ 8:03am  

  Marvelous,Master piece hoping to see one like this in India too in near feature,though not in size but in similar shape. Will vist to see for personal experience.

Ravindranath - Friday, August 24th, 2012 @ 8:17pm  

   I Love the very modern design of the tower. It seems very sophisticated and well developed. Very good layout and most facinating structures in Chicago.

Faisal Malik - Saturday, October 15th, 2011 @ 11:07am  

  Aqua is no different in conception than Goldberg’s Marina City towers. It is a flat slab concrete structure with a variable edge like is used to form the shapes of concrete buildings all over the world. Gang has chosen to expose it at a fairly high technical risk given the Chicago climate. This design is suited for Miami and not the harsh climate of Chicago.Aqua WILL in time suffer the same fate as the slab balconies and exposed concrete frame buildings of other buildings in the city. Even during construction thermal and shrinkage cracking was being constantly repaired according to individuals associated with the project. Expect within the next ten years to see major thermal cracking to develop as has been historically the case with buildings utilizing this type of slab/balcony condition. Marina City has had extensive repairs in the past. Coatings will help water penetration into the slab but coatings will not bridge thermal cracking once it begins. An 82 story concrete exposed structure will experience significant temperature extremes on the edges and upper portions of the building with winter winds. Concrete may be plastic in form but you cannot expect it to accommodate an internal temperature of 70F and an external temperature of -10 without significant thermal stresses and cracking. The freeze thaw of water is the most destructive impact of nature on buildings. Aqua has no magic solution to resolve the same problems that plague all exposed concrete frame buildings in northern climates. Aqua will rely on perfect maintenance for simple things like railing penetrations into the balcony slab. Once moisture gets into those connections it will be a cancer that causes immense damage. We live in an imperfect world so no architect can responsibly design assuming that level of perfection.Think of Aqua as a giant fin tube radiator. The balconies are fins radiating heat or cold in and out of the building. Not very environmentally friendly given there is not much you can do about the thermal mass of an exposed concrete structure. The tenants will have cold floors in winter and now the heating systems have to work even harder to overcome these large cold concrete surfaces which continually radiate cold air. There's a good reason most high-rise design architects today do not push the notion of large amounts of exposed concrete that link interior and exterior environments. The only reason to do this is that it’s cheaper to initially build a structure this way which benefits the developer's bottom line. It’s very bad for energy usage and for tenant comfort but it’s good for the pro forma. The developer has by the way already sold off the building so he’s gotten out of the future line of fire.Just because Gang has made a "sensuous" design doesn't mean it’s technically a responsible decision or good design. In a city that prides itself with some of the greatest high-rise examples in the world aren’t we ignoring the fundamental premise of good overall design and falling victim to beauty in a thin veiled dress that when stripped away will reveal a ugly bony woman? Unless you consider that temporary beauty is all that matters and is all that’s expected of architectural design. Some of us expect and strive for more and care deeply about what our peers do as it’s a reflection of a profession we dearly love.Before everyone falls in love with Aqua you need to realize that it's is a one liner and has a rough long term life ahead of it. It will one day look like many of the 70's frame structures that dot the city with extensive patching and who are undergoing face lifts. This is an 82 story mistake that most architects in town would not dare to embark upon given the E&O liability risks. Hope Gang has her insurance up to date because condo associations are notorious for litigation.

John Doe - Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 @ 12:15pm  

  hi my name is Dean Griffith, I was one of the Custom Sheet Metal installers that Fab & Installed all Stainless Steel metal inside the building & the prefinished metal on the top of the building also. 86 stories. it was Amazing to have been able to be a part of this great build add to Chicago downtown area.

Dean Griffith - Saturday, September 24th, 2011 @ 1:03pm  

   Gaudi-esque. Organic attempt. Not all photosare flattering, however.

barri - Saturday, September 24th, 2011 @ 12:46pm  

  The tower looks great as I said when I was making comparisons on Waterview Tower. The curved balconies look like waves of water. As far as the podium it sits on top of as looking up north from Columbus Drive, they could have made it more of the way buildings are today, instead of the 1970s. One good example is Chicago Place on North Michigan Avenue. The 8 Floor mall has a good base to the 42 Floor tower above. They should have made the tower's podium more like the tower itself. The tower again looks great though, good job Jeanne Gang.

Brent Kampert - Thursday, July 28th, 2011 @ 11:54am  

  I don't know how to rate this building. It's conventional but different at the same time. However, the more I look at it, the more it seems to remind me of the Exxon/Humble Oil building in Houston, albeit with a bit more flair.

Karey - Thursday, June 9th, 2011 @ 6:30pm  

   I love the Aqua.It is a flowing beauty.Fits perfectly in The Windy City with beautiful Lake Michigan nearby.

Linda Ingrid Lundgren - Saturday, January 15th, 2011 @ 6:55pm  

  Kind of cool at the moment, however it will look dated within a few years and the balconys will be replace or remove within a few years after that...

Jerry Kemna - Sunday, December 5th, 2010 @ 7:53pm  

   A very refreshing, eye catching design...a pleasant change from the stodgy ,boring cube and rectangular designs thrown at us simply because boxes cost less to design and construct. It truly is nice to see creativity on the scene and much needed at that.

Bill McDonough - Saturday, November 20th, 2010 @ 9:30pm  

  This building belongs in Chicago. It is a fabulous piece of architectural design. I love the soft fluid look of waves. Thank you Jeanne Gang

Elaine Chinn - Sunday, November 14th, 2010 @ 12:05am  

  A box, with ripples. What really gets my goat, as an ME specializing in energy efficiency, is that those wild balconies are just extensions of the floor plates, dramatically increasing the exposed exterior surface area , and the heat loss! Unless they've taken great pains to add thermal breaks to the slab extension it'll just drive up the heating requirements. Seems counterproductive in yet another modern 'green' building where the architect calls the shots and the real efficiency professionals are paid lip service.

Chuck - Friday, June 4th, 2010 @ 4:22pm  

  beautiful!...why does Chicago seem to dare more in architecture?...

Mac Reid - Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 @ 5:01pm  

  This architecture has shown the possibility to turn a modern rectangular parallelepiped building into a decorated architecture, not in the way that the post-modern architecture did, but being conscience with the environmental issue, thinking of aqua / water and marshy areas / wetlands.It must have been extremely hard work to create this shape with reinforced concrete.Congratulations on the completion!Hope this architecture will be treated as it deserves.

Michael Arai - Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 @ 9:22am  

  I think it's hideous ... a lumpy novelty building.

DM - Monday, May 31st, 2010 @ 11:20pm  

  Breathe taking architecture & views! Love the two pools & huge gym.

The Austins - Monday, May 31st, 2010 @ 2:26pm  

  This is probably much better to look at than to live in. Some apartments will have terrific summer glare and others will feel like caves in the winter. Brises-soleils have a functional role but these have been designed to create a nice pattern from a distance rather than providing summer shade and winter sun. The heating and air-conditioning costs will be all over the map, and I think this building will look old and brutalist within 20 years.

Chris FitzGerald, MCP - Sunday, March 21st, 2010 @ 2:42pm  

   Fantastic building ! Chicago´s arquitecture at it´s best !

------ brilliant ------ - Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 @ 9:11am  

  This is the best apartment ever! I live on the 17th floor and it is quite a view! This is one of the best new buildings in Chicago! The only thing I wish it has is a blue tint to the windows/balconies

Polly - Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 @ 8:56am  

  To all pundits; Oh please. Thanks to Ms. Gang and Co., the Chicago architectural envelope has been pushed still further up the world scale! Given the design restrictions in a large metro environment, pretty much any high rise is established within a "box" built footprint. Here we have genius applied in as simple a form as a balcony creating one of the most beautiful buildings in the world!

Cal Harris - Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 @ 1:24pm  

  Chicago has the most amazing architecture in the USA. I can't wait to view this spectacular building.

Michael Kohn - Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 @ 5:45pm  

  Champagne impact on a beer budget! Can't wait to see it lit up at night!

Steve - Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 @ 11:33am  

  A gimmick. Unlike others I've no problem with an old-fashioned glass box if that is what is needed. I like the idea of the wave forms but when seeing the structure it comes off more as a gimmick. And worse, it's a gimmick which does nothing to enhance usability (actually taking outdoor space away from many units.) A bit like putting on too much makeup.

Robert - Sunday, October 25th, 2009 @ 4:58pm  

  This seems to be a visual today hit for the "street", but it is a non-integrated building from an architectural viewpoint. A standard box with a pastiche of balconies, no matter how graceful, to dress it up will probably not have any long term staying power as an iconic building nor have any innovative contributions to make. I'll give it 3 stars for effort.

S. W. Doughty - Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 @ 9:23pm  

  Just returned from a visit to Chicago. We stayed across the street from the Aqua building, at The Fairmont. The first thing I noticed when we returned onto N Columbus Dr. was the unique detail of the Aqua building. I questioned our tour guide on the architectural tour about the building. I was surprised to learn it was just recently completed. I also learned it was designed by a woman. I must say of all the buildings that I viewed during my stay in Chicago, this one stood out most to me and will be the most memorable. 5 star!!

Jane - Saturday, September 5th, 2009 @ 8:59pm  

  The Aqua Tower offers a sculptural alternative to the orthogonal apparance of all it's neighbors on the Chicago skyline. It is a very creative solution to the challenge to put up an interesting tower with minor cost implications. Studio Gang has done a great job.

Archie Phillips - Friday, September 4th, 2009 @ 12:24pm  

  rob is right if it's not the tallest skyscraper nobody seems to care about it. i have to admit it looks very odd. i think it will look cooler when it's completed.

Davin - Sunday, August 9th, 2009 @ 7:28am  

  I think it blends quite nicely with the vision of Daniel Burnham for Chicago and is so unique and original as one looks around the world in search of examples of a mixture of urban and natural beauty and functuality. On every photo taken , it looks different and so imaginative. It reminds personally even to the Alpine natural magic with snow covered mountains next to the lakes in harmony with constantly changing weather and clouds.Congratulations to Jeanne Gang.

Omer Aker - Saturday, July 25th, 2009 @ 11:46pm  

  A beautiful addition to a beautiful city. The architecture capital and this adds to the collection. Not in the historic category with Reliance, Monadnok, and Sears (to Chicagoan's perhaps it will always be Sears)but an intriguing part of the awesome skyline of Chicago.

Jim Kwas - Sunday, July 19th, 2009 @ 6:21pm  

  We took the river tour of Chicago the other day. This is a unique structure which is very pleasing to the eye, another feather in the cap of Chicago! A true work of art, congrats!

tom moynihan - Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 @ 8:26pm  

  Balconies blue??I think that with the white is perfect....

Saul - Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 @ 7:33pm  

  I think the balconies should be painted Blue to go with the whole Aqua theam. The white makes it look unfinished. Other than that it looks great!I hope Jean Gang reads these comments and puts the final touch on this building.

Love the Building - Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 @ 2:10pm  

  The wavy platforms should be painted blue, mosaic-ed or should be mirrored.... It would look a whole lot better.

Ike - Sunday, January 18th, 2009 @ 6:21pm  

  I think the design is awesome. Its not the usual rectangle that everyone goes for. I love that it will be a part of the Chicago skyline.

Eric Kripas - Thursday, January 15th, 2009 @ 3:42pm  

  sorry i have to agree - it is the most conventional structure behind some flashy balconies. i like the idea of pushing the envelope but you can see how it already looks dated. and it's just too damn big.

calvin - Monday, January 5th, 2009 @ 11:49pm  

  With todays tools in the architectural field it is sad to see them being used without any thought as to the performance of the building. It is a nice thought to create something that is a little different for the chicago skyline, but as different as it may seem, this building is not different in the least of the word. Behind the ornamental balconies is a perfectly squared box with no ideas newer than its very square neighbors. This is a perfect example of the butchering of modern technology in order to quickly put up an initially interesting facade with a copy and paste core.

physiovergence - Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 @ 2:16pm  

  Just returned from Chicago and saw the building. Looks very beautiful from the outside. Hope the inside will be as nice, but a very creative concept.

Jane Letson - Sunday, September 21st, 2008 @ 1:23pm  

  It looks fantastic. Veryunique in style and I canvisualize now the wave ofthe water from afar. Verycreative.

judy manipon - Monday, September 8th, 2008 @ 2:05pm  

  This building is amazing, I come to Chicago every other week for work and am amazed how differently it looks each time. I can't wait to see the finished product. Its looks perfect in Chicago!

Beth Maged - Thursday, July 31st, 2008 @ 4:29pm  

  I'm moving there next year... Sooooo amazing and gorgeous, I CANT WAIT :)

Tara - Thursday, June 19th, 2008 @ 12:11pm  

  Some one said " doesn't seem Chicago. It screams Dubai". Most of the buildings in Dubai are designed and built by Chicago architecture firms. I think the building is amazing to look at. I love the variety of buildings Chicago has to offer. Chicago has more variety of buildings than any other city in the world.

John B - Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 @ 2:45pm  

  More beauty for Chicago.

Patricia Rogers - Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 @ 12:44pm  

  This structure will continue to cement Chicago's place as an innovator of architectural implementation, whether it be in the categories of supertall, green building initiatives, or overall uniqueness.

Chris - Thursday, January 31st, 2008 @ 9:00pm  

  Beautiful! Since I live across the street from it and get to watch it go up.

Jerry Hummer - Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 @ 3:22pm  

  It looks like a continuation of LakeMichigan rising into the sky!

James Lee - Monday, August 13th, 2007 @ 1:44am  

  I'm intrigued, but I think I have to hold back one star until I see the finished product. The building looks odd but fascinating and I think it could work. It is definitely one of the more original new constructions being built in the city today. Given that it will be placed right next to the Aon Center, I wish there was greater height difference between the two buildings, so that Aqua could stand out more.

David Shmuel - Thursday, July 26th, 2007 @ 8:08am  

  I think it will be a sleek and beautiful building once built. I am no architect, but I think that building has a nice modern feel to it. A kind of change from the heavy modern skyscrappers that tend to dominate like the John Hancock Building which seems to just slump there. Anyway it's my feelings. I like the building. I am glad they are building it.

James Petersen - Thursday, July 19th, 2007 @ 12:37am  

  I think this building is awesome! An innovative twist on the International Style box. It almost reminds me of the Marina Towers built in the 1960's, which is now a Chicago Icon. Great design I love it!

Digital Junkie - Friday, July 13th, 2007 @ 1:38am  

  AWESOME! This will be a building that will be remembered! I can't wait to see this finished. It will look like a mirage or actually have a sense of movement--not just upward but undulating with the wind currents or flow of water from Lake Michigan. Love it!

J C Lennon - Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 @ 7:50am  

  I'll admit that I had to have a double take just looking at the building. At first, it looked like an incomplete mess till I looked at it again and realized that it looked like ripples moving through the walls. Maybe the "double take" is one reason for the design of the building: to get people to notice it more? I love how original the idea of the building is, and I definately can't wait to see it when it's complete. It will definately compliment the Chicago skyline, not to mention the waves of Lake Michigan!

Narin Ratanavade - Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 @ 9:00am  

  Unbelievable concept yet so simple in its own terms..would love to see the real "Aqua" soon

Abhinav Dhaka - Saturday, May 19th, 2007 @ 1:01pm  

  I think that it is hideous

jw - Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 @ 6:06pm  

  also forgot to mention the beauty of this building(AQUA) is that it gives the impression of a huge flag or hung drapes or curtains swaying in the breeze very eye catching!!

Wilbert NYC - Friday, April 20th, 2007 @ 4:29am  

   I am very happy to see a brightly beautiful building towers of new Chicago City of many new towers. So, I am exicting to see for Fordham Spires for go to building to 150 Floors in Begin on May 15, 2007. And Also, We pray for Olympic will re vote our Chicago for winning again of World's vote, Yes, We believe that Chicago are very successfully building more than other world for Best Olympic 2016!! Sincerely, Ronald Houle,Jr.

Ronald Houle Jr. - Saturday, April 14th, 2007 @ 6:13pm  

  love it! I am already sea sick just by looking at it, great design, something different although this design won a previous architectural award of best building of the year awarded to a residential building (or commercial,if i am not mistaking) in Australia, melbourne or queensland well, somewhere down under also this design will be featured on a new skyscraper in New York City it is a project awaiting to be approved (west side 42nd street)condominium

Wilbert NYC - Friday, April 13th, 2007 @ 6:32am  

  Look skyhigh to the future of Chicago. Our amazing city will have yet another beauty added to grace our magnificent skyline.

Bonnie K Brennan Properties- bonnieb - Monday, March 19th, 2007 @ 12:45am  

  I like the height and all, but this structure doesn't seem Chicago. It screams Dubai.

marcus - Tuesday, March 6th, 2007 @ 5:52pm  

  the waves are cool and all, but think that we could have have broke the 900ft mark on this one and i also think that the design could have been somthing more than a rectangle. i give it four stars because the building still makes a unique statment.

Jason Steward - Thursday, December 28th, 2006 @ 4:41am  

  This building is very odd, yet pretty awesome. I like that look of water blowing in the Chicago Wind. (or politics)

kirby cruz - Thursday, December 7th, 2006 @ 8:40pm  

  Would've given this a five-star rating, but one never knows how the undulating exterior will work out. If successful (i.e., it does what the architect(s) want it to do), then *****. If not, perhaps just another very tall building with a very unsightly skin. Would love to see more from Jeanne Gang.

Richard Seid - Friday, September 22nd, 2006 @ 7:09pm  

  the building departs from the usual pure gemetry associated with scy scrapers-thats interesting It has a differnt command of the skyline. But isnt it complicated building to achieve funtionality

gabriel mnthambwe - Thursday, September 21st, 2006 @ 9:46am  

  This building has gotten so much press and praise, but so far it is not deserved. The architect and reviewers claim that it steps away from recent Chicago architecture in that in brings focus back to the exterior, but so what when the interior is so conventional. As soon as I sasw the floor plans I was disappointed.( And who knows if the concrete work will also live up to the concept.)So compared to much of the crap that this city has seen, it is good, but potentially, it could have been so much better and really redefine architecture.

GMJ - Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 @ 7:07am  

  Why does this remind me of a cardboard box left out in the rain? The undulating balconies are conceptually interesting but given this building's scale, ultimately get monotonous. Still, if not exactly beautiful, it is different, and in a city like Chicago that's very important.

walt - Saturday, September 16th, 2006 @ 4:36pm  

  Chicago is claiming to be the world best metro city. explosion of new building with great articultural design are happening here. This will be a new stadard in design once it is completed in 2009. I saw the plan and was in love with it the same day. I cannot wait for its completion. I bought my future home also the same day and I am waiting.

Bashir - Monday, July 31st, 2006 @ 7:21pm  

  Beautiful. Just a pity that everyone seems to buy their architecture by the mega-tonne these days. Who cares how tall it is? Can't we appreciate it for its beauty, rather than the size of the firm's phallus?

Rob - Friday, July 14th, 2006 @ 3:25am  

  Another WOW for Chicago,what a beauty. AQUA "The Princess". We have once again set the standard for innovative "the princess rises to the sky",she is form and function combined with a vision of the future...

bonnieb-Keller Williams River North - Saturday, June 17th, 2006 @ 2:14am  

  This will be the building , when completed, drivers on Lake Shore Drive will crash into eachother! They will get the best view at speeds of 50+ mph... I believe after this project is complete, others will follow as there are some already being built.. but this is the heralding of a great new era of Chicago Architecture. About time! I shoot Architectural Photography for more than 10 years and cannot wait! Thank-you for getting out of the box.

Chris Barrett - Friday, May 12th, 2006 @ 3:51pm  

  Bellissimo! Looking forward to seeing it finished

Dario - Thursday, April 27th, 2006 @ 11:20pm  

  I always like it when architects get away the from straight line effect when designing buildings. I think the design of the Aqua building makes this a building to be looked at, rather then another tall monument that gets lost in the skyline.

Thomas Semesky - Monday, April 10th, 2006 @ 1:01pm  

  Potentially ground-breaking building. Stepping on the shoulders of Marina City! Could be an awesome addition to the riverscape.

Terry - Thursday, April 6th, 2006 @ 11:31pm  

  Beautiful and unique. Chicago needs to solidify her ownership of the architectural crown... buildings like this are certainly sending it in that direction.

Brett Haase - Thursday, March 30th, 2006 @ 8:52pm  

  I like it, just wish it was a bit more colorful.

Noel - Monday, March 13th, 2006 @ 1:17pm  

  throughout the years Studio Gang has made a significant achievements in experimental architecture and design.From the images I see if they are factual information, is a building with dynamic movement against Chicago's static skyline. Hopefully the design, if built will open a gateway for a new type of architecture for the city.

brendt oconnell - Sunday, March 12th, 2006 @ 6:53pm  

  This would be a great addition to Chicago's Skyline and be one of the top 15 tallest in Chicago.

Brent Kampert - Thursday, March 9th, 2006 @ 1:35pm  

  Just saw the image now. I could not decide how to rate it! One thing for sure is that including with planned Fordham building, Chicago is about to have new wave of extraordinary shaped of buildings, which I believe that adds to cities charachter. It is not clear what type of material the outside will have. Also, just another note, at instant, model on the picture reminded me edged version of a Marine tower by Chicago river.

Kerem Arig - Friday, February 24th, 2006 @ 6:36pm