Aqua Tower by Studio Gang: At 82 stories, reaching a height of 876 feet, is one of few tall buildings to create a community on its facade. Combining a hotel, offices, rental apartments, condominiums, and parking, along with one of Chicago’s largest green roofs, it facilitates strong connections between people and to the city.
The design for Aqua tower uses architecture to capture and reinterpret the human and outdoor connections that occur more naturally when living closer to the ground. Its distinctive form is achieved by varying the floor slabs across the height the tower, based on criteria such as views, sunlight, and use.
Strategically sculpting the shape of each floor slab offers comfortable outdoor terraces, where neighbors can casually and comfortably interact when desired, as well as views to Chicago landmarks, navigating sight lines around the corners and through the gaps between existing buildings. The overall design is the cumulative result of responses to specific conditions of density, environment, and use.
Borrowing from the characteristics of terrestrial topography, the tower was imagined as a vertical landscape made up of hills, valleys, and pools. “Pools” of high performance glass and “hills” of the floor plate extensions are visible from adjacent towers.