The Aqua Tower is a mixed-used residential building located in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago. It is a Modernist skyscraper considered to be the 3rd tallest building in the world designed by a female architect. The name "Aqua" for the said building was derived to fit into the wave-like forms of the balconies as well as matching the blur-green tint of its windows which resembles the color of water. The name also fits the nautical theme of the Lakeshore East development.
Aqua Tower Profile
The Aqua Tower is designed by Jeanne Gang, her first skyscraper project as an architect. Loewenberg & Associates are the architects of record for the said skyscraper. Building the Aqua Tower started around 2006. Drilling of the 300 foundation caissons where the building stands began on March 12,2007. The building was completed by 2010.
Aqua Tower Features
One of the main features of the Aqua Tower is the design of its balconies. In order to take advantage of the nearby vies of other landmarks in the area, the tower was designed with balconies that stretch outwards by as much as 12 feet or 3.7 meters. The result is a facade composed of irregularly shaped concrete floor slabs that seem to resemble waves. The architect cited that the limestone outcroppings which are common features in the Great Lakes region served as the inspiration for the irregularly shaped and undulating concrete slab design of the balconies.
The Aqua Tower stands 819 feet or 250 meters high. It contains 82 storeys which includes 5 levels located underground. The tower houses 736 residential units which includes 262 condominium units and 474 rental units at the mid-levels. There is also 55,000 square feet of commercial space located in the first and second floors of the building.