Glass Industry

Aqua : A Special Skyscraper (Chicago)

Glass Architecture Recommended by Concept Patterns - Aqua A daring piece of architecture for The Loop, Aqua comes off more as a massive sculpture than as a condominium 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, et.al.

But while those were conventional skyscrapers, Aqua is special.

At its heart it is the standard glass box we've seen before. But its surface is covered with ondulating 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 floorplate in Aqua is unique, thus construction is unusually complicated.

Basic Information

  • This building was designed by Jeanne Gang.
  • Aqua's public relations company touts that this is the tallest building in the United States designed by an architecture firm headed by a woman. It is a claim that is difficult to prove or refute.
  • This building is expected to have a Fairmont Hotel occupying the first 40 floors. It remains to be seen if it will be linked to the existing Fairmont Hotel across the street. The nearby Hyatt hotel spans several blocks this way, so it is a possibility that one large hotel will be formed, instead of two separate hotels or the Fairmont simply moving across the street.
  • 1st-40th floors: hotel.
  • 40th-52nd floors: unknown.
  • 53rd-83rd floors: condominiums.
  • The hotel suites will average more than 650 square feet each.
  • Strategic Hotel Funding has agreed to purchase 200 hotel suites (about 15 floors) in Aqua upon completion of the project. Total cost is $82,400,000.
  • The hotel will have a 20,000-square-foot ballroom.
  • September 1, 2006 - Groundbreaking

Source: Chicago Architecture