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Old December 9th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #1301
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So awesome that seems unreal
School trip to: Brussels!
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Old December 9th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #1302
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Harry C --- Picassa ---- Web Shots

“War is where the young and stupid are tricked by the old and bitter into killing each other.”

--Niko Bellic
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Old December 9th, 2009, 10:44 PM   #1303
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Nice shot of Bruce Wayne's apartment from the "Dark Knight" movie.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 02:39 AM   #1304
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spyguy....that's a damn good shot!!!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 12:45 AM   #1305
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Originally Posted by harryc View Post

Feb 22 2009
Ah ha! So there are entrances below street level just like Trump Tower! That must be why the CTBUH readusted the height to 262 meters.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #1306
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Random that is the upper deck of Columbus (looking E)

This is from the other side (looking SW)

Nov 8 2008

The band you see on the Right (above the construction) is the same one that is pictured in the upper Columbus shot.

The roads are 3 levels here. Upper columbus is the top level in this photo - the grassy area in the photo above is at the same level as the reiverwalk seen here.
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Last edited by harryc; December 11th, 2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 03:19 AM   #1307
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Dec 30

full size
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 08:22 PM   #1308
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1 February 2010
New Yorker

Aqua--a new, eighty-two-story apartment tower in the center of Chicago--is made of the same tough, brawny materials as most skyscrapers: metal, concrete, and lots of glass. But the architect, Jeanne Gang, a forty-five-year-old Chicagoan, has figured out a way to give it soft, silky lines, like draped fabric. 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 facade into an undulating landscape of bending, flowing concrete, as if the wind were blowing ripples across the surface of the building. You know this tower is huge and solid, but it feels malleable, its exterior pulsing with a gentle rhythm.

The building would be an achievement for any architect, but Gang, who has run her own firm since 1997, had never designed a skyscraper before and happened into this one almost by accident. A couple of years ago, she was seated at a dinner next to Jim Lowenberg, a developer who had built a number of mediocre condominium towers in a huge development over the old Illinois Central rail yards, known as Lakeshore East. A prime site in the project remained, Lowenberg told her, and he envisioned doing something more ambitious there. He liked Gang and offered her a shot.

A lot of attention--in Chicago, at least--has been given to the fact that Aqua is the tallest building in the world designed by a woman. That's nice for Gang, but beside the point, and dwelling on it leads too easily to predictable interpretations of skyscrapers as symbols of male identity. Gang's achievement has more to do with freeing us from such silliness. Her building is most compelling as an example of architecture that is practical and affordable enough to please real-estate developers and stirring enough to please critics. Not many buildings like that get made at any height, or by architects of either gender.

Furthermore, the success of Aqua isn't just that Gang figured out a smart, low-budget way of turning an ordinary glass condo tower into something that looks exciting. The design is anchored in common sense in two ways that aren't immediately apparent, making the building, from a technical point of view, even more remarkable than it looks. The balcony overhangs of the facade serve an environmental purpose, shading apartments from the hot summer sun. More ingenious still, they protect the building from the force of wind, one of the most difficult challenges in skyscraper engineering. The landscape of rolling hills and valleys created by the balconies effectively confuses the heavy Chicago winds, giving them no clear path. The wind is broken up so much that the building didn't require a device known as a "tuned mass damper"--a mass weighing hundreds of tons that engineers place at the top of tall buildings to stabilize them against the vibrations and sway caused by the force of wind. And using the curves to dissipate the wind gave Gang a bonus: she was able to put balconies on every floor, all the way up. Usually, condominiums sixty or seventy floors above the street don't have balconies, because it's just too windy up there to go outside.

When you catch your first glimpse of Aqua's swirling facade poking out from between its boxy neighbors, you might think it's a gigantic version of one of those "blob" buildings of the past few years, curvy forms designed largely by computer. But Gang isn't Greg Lynn or Hani Rashid. She brings aesthetics and engineering together in a way that is more aligned with the tradition of Chicago's canonical modern architecture than the building's appearance suggests. Chicago is where architects like Louis Sullivan, John Wellborn Root, Mies van der Rohe, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill elevated pragmatic solutions to structural problems to the level of art. And that is precisely what Gang has done, albeit with a different aesthetic. For all its visual power, Aqua is mostly free of conceit. In an age in which so much architectural form--even, sometimes, the best architectural form--has no real rationale beyond the fact that it is what the architect felt like doing, there is something admirable about the tower's lack of arbitrariness. It reclaims the notion that thrilling and beautiful form can still emerge out of the realm of the practical.

In this sense, Gang could not be more different from Zaha Hadid, who is the most famous female architect around. Hadid is a brilliant shaper of form, but her buildings are nothing if not arbitrary, and the combination of her fame and her flamboyant designs has insidiously led people to assume that female architects tend to favor shape-making over problem-solving. In fact, there are plenty of women who have built successful architectural practices by selling themselves not as divas but as purveyors of reason who also happen to be able to make beautiful things. In New York, Deborah Berke, a fifty-five-year-old architect and professor at Yale, directs a firm that has designed hotels, art galleries, academic buildings, houses, and the high-profile 48 Bond Street condominium. (Berke's Web site describes her work as "simple, not simplistic; elegant, not extravagant; luxurious, not lavish.") In San Francisco, Cathy Simon founded a firm, SMWM--until a recent merger, it was among the largest women-owned firms in the country--that numbers the restored San Francisco Ferry Building and the San Francisco Public Library among its projects. Marianne McKenna (the "M" in the big Toronto firm KPMB) just finished an acclaimed concert hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music, in Toronto, and has been in charge of a new downtown university campus in Montreal. Denise Scott Brown, of the Philadelphia firm Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates, has been a dominant force in the field of planning and urban design for more than a generation.

Female architects like these share a high interest in modern design combined with a low interest in ideology. They approach design less as an opportunity to demonstrate a set of ideas than as a way of answering a series of questions about the nature of a place, a client, or a function. "I like to do research about a place, about materials, and about a program," Gang told me. "The longer I can delay coming up with a form, the better. Developers don't always like that, but it's the part I like the most." In the case of Aqua, she experimented with several ideas before she settled on making a facade out of what she calls the "built contours" of undulating concrete balconies. Gang worked for Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam for two years after she got her architecture degree, at Harvard, but she considered becoming an engineer before she decided to be an architect, and she thinks primarily in terms of what is buildable. Still, she is passionate about what her buildings look like--"I have a preference for light structure, for things that look light, almost fragile," she told me--and as capable of obsessing over a single detail as Norman Foster. But she seems determined to approach her projects without preconceived notions of what they should look like. "I don't think I could have sketched Aqua on Day One," she said.

When I went to Chicago to see Aqua, Gang took me through the building, but she seemed more interested in making sure I got to see two new projects that were barely larger than the biggest Aqua apartments: a community center and a video-and-film production center for Columbia College, both on the South Side. The community center has a facade made up of several layers of different types of concrete, added unevenly one atop the other, so that the exterior looks like a gargantuan sand painting, an abstract composition in gray and beige--another instance of a powerful aesthetic statement achieved with conventional materials used in an unconventional way. At Columbia, an arts college housed in a series of old buildings, Gang's center, the first entirely new structure that the college has built, is an exuberant building of concrete and glass whose interior is laid out so as to emphasize framed views from one area to another: Gang approached the project thinking in terms of how a director might frame shots through a camera. She also tinted some of the glass in the facade to resemble the blocks of color in a television test pattern.

That's the sort of idea that could be a gimmick, but Gang is good enough to pull it off. She designs by trying to identify with the client, and coming up with something that she wouldn't do for anyone else. For an environmental center, also on the South Side, she decided to construct most of the building out of recycled material, and ended up using not only recycled steel for the exterior cladding but recycled bluejeans as an insulating material. For a housing complex in Hyderabad, she is trying to find a way to reinterpret the traditional Indian courtyard house in high-rise form.

Gang has no interest in establishing a look that marks her buildings as hers. Her instincts are modern, but style alone doesn't shape her work; materials, technology, and an ongoing attempt to see from the perspective of the people who will use the buildings mean much more to her. "You know, a lot of architects get into fetishized objects," she said to me. "But when you can design anything you want without actually having to make it, you do wild things that can't work. And that's not what I want to do."

Jeanne Gang and architecture's anti-divas.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 03:36 AM   #1309
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does anyone know where I can find the renderings of the townhomes goin up in this park
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Old February 10th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #1310
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Retail Therapy Guest Blogger: Lara Presber's spring collection inspired by wavy, be-finned Aqua Tower
Posted: January 26, 2010, 1:00 PM by Karen Hawthorne

The inspiration for my spring 2010 collection started with a trip to Chicago a couple of years ago. I was staying at the Fairmont and had a room with an amazing view of the lake and also this incredible skyscraper that was under construction. I had no idea at the time what it was, but couldn’t get the image of the horizontal concrete waves cantilevered out from a glass tower out of my head.

It wasn’t until almost a year later that I discovered the identity of this mystery building — the Aqua Tower, by Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects. It wasn’t just the physical expression of the tower that intrigued me, but also that it was the first high-rise tower in North America to be built by a woman-led firm (according to numerous articles, but not confirmed by the architect). It was at this point that I was overwhelmingly convinced that this needed to be the basis for my next collection.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #1311
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So interesting.... the marriage between Fashion and Architecture ( I mean really good architecture unlike most other stupid stuff we see these days)

The Aqua tower is already an Icon and perhaps the newest sight-seeing spot of Chicago.

A friend of mine is travelling to Chicago soon and I told her to not only visit John Hancock and Sears plus the great Chicago museums (really unique btw, I love each and all of them) but also to visit or at least ask a local to show her the Aqua tower!
They steal the future; They sell it today and They call it Gross Domestic Product!
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Old February 11th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #1312
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Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
I do not often comment on, but at this point, I must say: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old February 13th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #1313
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One of the most beautiful tower I´ve ever seen!
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=695362 - Leiria, Portugal

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=708946 - Monte Gordo Beach, Algarve - Portugal
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Old February 13th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #1314
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Truly amazing tower
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Old February 14th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #1315
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Is it possible for the New York Times to write any article about anything in Chicago without mentioning the "heavy Chicago winds"?
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 05:21 AM   #1316
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 06:37 AM   #1317
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More praise for Aqua: Global building database selects it as 2009's top skyscraper

Chicago architect Jeanne Gang's Aqua skyscraper continues to reap high praise.

Emporis, the global building database, on Tuesday will name the residential and hotel tower, located in the 200 block of North Columbus Drive and best known for its spectacularly undulating balconies, its 2009 skyscraper of the year.

"Members of the jury praised Aqua for its fascinating shape, whose appearance changes dramatically depending on the perspective. It was also cited as a brilliant technical achievement for the precision of its construction, and lauded as an application of green design innovations to an extremely large building project," Emporis said in a news release.

The honor, known as the Emporis Skyscraper Award, has been given since 2000 and recognizes excellence in aesthetic and functional design.

It has previously gone to such high-rises as Lord Norman Foster's Hearst Tower in New York City and Santiago Calatrava's Turning Torso Tower in Malmo, Sweden.

This marks the first time that the prize, which is given annually to a building at least 100 meters tall that was completed within the award year, has gone to a Chicago skyscraper.

Chicago's Trump International Hotel & Tower, designed by Chicago architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and former SOM partner Adrian Smith, finished fifth in the jury's voting, with 36 points compared to Aqua's 86.

The second prize winner was the O-14 high-rise in Dubai, whose perforated exterior provides a unique shield against the desert sun. (The building was not occupied when I attempted to see it in Dubai last month.)

Emporis editors from 67 countries make nominations for the prize and select the winners. Here are the jury's top results:

Top 10 Skyscrapers of 2009

(rank / building / city / country / points)
1. Aqua, Chicago U.S.A.. 86
2. O-14 Dubai U.A.E., 61
3. The Met, Bangkok Thailand, 43
4. Torres de Hércules, Los Barrios Spain, 38
5. Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago U.S.A., 36
6. The Red Apple, Rotterdam Netherlands, 34
7. Bank of America Tower, New York City U.S.A.. 32
8. Almas Tower, Dubai U.A.E., 16
9. Millennium Tower, San Francisco U.S.A., 13
10. William Beaver House, New York City U.S.A., 10
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 07:28 AM   #1318
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Love this tower! And Chicago
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Old February 24th, 2010, 01:44 AM   #1319
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I would like to congragulate Aqua the skyscraper for winning the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper Award. Sorry I had previously speculated for a different skyscraper (300 North LaSalle) to win the award. I give its design four stars.
I honestly think all development projects must be sustainable and futureproof.

You support the good projects... and oppose the bad.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:28 AM   #1320
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Final Video

Here comes my final Video for the awesome Aqua:


Music: David Guetta ft. Kid Cudi - Memories

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