3 Architectural Gems in Chicago

Chicago architecture

The Chicago skyline is embellished with architectural wonders of all sizes, styles, and ages. From classic landmarks like the Chicago Water Tower, to modern glass skyscrapers, the city is truly an architect’s muse. Making a splash in recent years is Jeanne Gang, award-winning architect, profiled in major publications including Architectural Digest, Bloomberg, and The New Yorker, to name a few. She’s the founder of Chicago based Studio Gang Architects and has an architectural footprint in nearly all corners of the globe.

Known for her innovative use of construction materials, and keen consideration for the environment, she boasts several LEED® certified buildings, and internationally recognized structures. In Chicago alone, Studio Gang Architects has a total of 20 projects completed or in the works around the city including the iconic Aqua Tower. Let’s take a closer look at a few of Gang’s outstanding structures.

Aqua Tower

Her most famous project to date is the stunning, photogenic Aqua Tower which Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago calls home. The Aqua Tower, opened in 2010, resides in the Lakeshore East neighborhood and has become an iconic piece of architecture among the concrete jungle that is Chicago. At 859 feet tall, the tower is currently the tallest in the world designed by a female architect. Inspired by water, the balconies were designed to look like waves, and no two are alike!

Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

Studio Gang Architects designed and engineered this eye-catching outdoor pavilion at Lincoln Park Zoo, as part of a larger nature restoration project at the zoo that included rehabbing the pond to better accommodate the wildlife. Part yoga pavilion, part outdoor classroom, the South Pond Pavilion is a stunning architectural statement inspired by the shells of tortoises that live nearby. The pavilion is constructed of prefabricated wood, and was curved and connected to form a beamless open space. This structure is certainly easy on the eyes, and the nature and city views from the pavilion aren’t too shabby either.

Wanda Vista Tower

Coming soon to the Lakeshore East neighborhood is the highly anticipated Wanda Vista Tower, slated to be completed in 2019.  Planned to climb to 1,100 feet, this building is in the running to become the third tallest in Chicago. The staggered vertical stacks are intended to optimize views of the city for everyone inside. With fabulous architecture housing a mix of commercial and residential spaces, this tower is one to keep an eye on.

Jeanne Gang is truly making a mark on the city of Chicago with her inspiring, responsible, cutting edge designs. Can’t get enough? Check out more Gang structures from across the world and be sure to visit at least a few of her Chicago designs when you visit Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago.

Discover more of Chicago with these beautifully unique photos by photographer Angie McMonigal.

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