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Thread: AQUA - Chicago - by Studio Gang Architects

  1. #31

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    That article overblows her talents and the building.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by alonzo-ny View Post
    That article overblows her talents and the building.
    Of course I don't think the article is overblown, or else I wouldn't have cited it - without comment. This is ultimately, however, a matter of opinion rather than indisputable fact. Consider the Architecture critic who wrote it, Pulitizer Prize winner Blair Kamin. Mr. Kamin is not shy about critiquing local, national or international Architects (I know, he has attacked a number of Architects for which I vehemently disagreed).

    Aside from Mr. Kamin, Jeanne Gang has been well received thus far by a variety of Architecture critics in North America. Locally, she is seen as a major influence on what is called here the "Third Chicago School" of Architecture, despite being one its youngest members.

    When you look at Zaha Hadid, perhaps the most famous of contemporary female architects, Ms. Gang has been arguably more prolific for the same age period. As I recall, Ms. Hadid's early reputation rested essentially on renderings that never saw the light of day. Admittedly, most of Ms. Gang's structures were medium to small scale, until Aqua. Since Aqua, her portfolio of large-scale commissions has grown exponentially. More importantly, she continues to illustrate a marked push to create different forms each time out that have intrigued many in this profession, both technically and aesthetically.

    Although I cite only two in a prior post (17) because the subject of this thread is Aqua afterall - not Gang's works - maybe at some point down the road I will start a thread to support what I believe is the great promise of this Architect. I also see her, as does Mr. Kamin, as not being at the pinnacle of her profession, but rather as a person on the rise.

  3. #33
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    ^^^

    I like what i have read from Kamin. He is certainly every bit as good as Goldberger or Ouroussoff, which isn't saying much. And I really like Aqua. It is probably the best piece architecture that is part of Chicago's new building boom--which unfortunately isn't saying much either. I love it though and it may be the one Chicago tower that makes me jealous, although it looks more Miami than Chicago (as does the Spire). I think you are kidding yourself about a new chicago school of architecture. Gang has some talent, but who else is there? Jahn? Don't make me laugh. Smith? Anyone capable of making a building as hideous as the Trump Tower Chicago does not deserve my respect. Are there any other names?

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by lbjefferies View Post
    ...

    I like what i have read from Kamin. He is certainly every bit as good as Goldberger or Ouroussoff, which isn't saying much. And I really like Aqua. It is probably the best piece architecture that is part of Chicago's new building boom--which unfortunately isn't saying much either. I love it though and it may be the one Chicago tower that makes me jealous, although it looks more Miami than Chicago (as does the Spire). I think you are kidding yourself about a new chicago school of architecture. Gang has some talent, but who else is there? Jahn? Don't make me laugh. Smith? Anyone capable of making a building as hideous as the Trump Tower Chicago does not deserve my respect. Are there any other names?
    If none of this "isn't saying much" what is the point?

    My last post was not an attempt to transition into a Third Chicago School discussion, by using Jeanne Gang as a Trojan Horse, but rather to expand the discussion of Jeanne Gang, by referencing her impact on that important school. Even if you don't share that view, that is saying much in my book, so I guess we have to agree to disagree.

    If you look closely at Aqua, it is very much a non-Miami type building.

    Like Lake Point Tower in Chicago, Aqua's intriguing shape was an extention of the function of the building, not just an aesthetic add on. Specifically, this Harvard GSD Architect, was attempting to rethink the view from balconies, and stays true to that idea from conception to execution. She trips up, in my opinion as well as others, in the podium base and in one section of floors. Why? Because in some measure it is less integrated and somewhat compromised in these details. Nevertheless, this is petty criticism given the overall tour de force of the building.

    I'll ignore the rest of the side discussion, since it only continues to fuel that smoke-more-than-fire distinction between two great cities when it comes to the Architecture of the modern skyscraper - past and present.

  5. #35

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    March 28, 2008










  6. #36

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    We're just starting to get the full effect, which are the rippled shadows cast by the balconies on the watery glass. The railings will add another layer of shimmery depth.

    This is a marvelously expressive design considering its relative simplicity. Shadow and reflection are used to maximum effect. Bravo!

  7. #37
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    Very Nice

  8. #38

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    Images from 05/04/08

  9. #39

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    Thank you BVictor1.

    I guess I should mention that the top, which looks like a roof, is actually NOT a roof at all. Rather it is a work area that moves as the building ascends and is part of the balcony construction. This area also contains a number of gadgets not normally found among the typical construction equipment.

  10. #40

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    A Gang of One



    Two largest buildings in this rendering are
    Aon Center (completed 1973) on left, facing Aqua (projected 2009) on right.

    Park in foreground was planned as part of this development:
    known as "Lakeshore East" or LSE.


    (Aside from being a defacto inner court,
    this park functions as both a Pet and Pedestrian area,
    with state-of-the-art drainage and dedicated maintenance of the grounds.)



    Courtesy Curbed Network San Francisco


    Actual Aon and Aqua (U/C), partially shown,
    with completed LSE Pet/Pedestrian Park



    SSP / EarlyBuyer


    Detail Renderings of Balcony - Note the Railings (rightmost image)


    SSC / The Urban Politician


    Three views of the Baconies U/C -
    Without Railings, and
    Concrete Surfaces in an Unfinished state



    SSP / EarlyBuyer


    SSC / Jibba


    SSC / wrabbit


    Work Area Photo
    taken from
    Aon Center



    SSP / I_am_hydrogen

  11. #41

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    Concrete Puts the Waves In Aqua

    Jeanne Gang's $300 million Aqua project is as much a sculpture in concrete as it is a mixed-use tower, making its construction all the more complex.

    By Jeff Yoders, Associate Editor
    February 26, 2007
    Building Design and Construction

    Jeanne Gang, principal of Studio/Gang/Architects in Chicago, began planning the design of Aqua, her first high-rise project, by examining the way tall buildings relate to their surroundings. Gang's 822-foot, 2.2-million-sf mixed-use tower has been designed to fit into the context of its downtown Chicago neighborhood near the highly popular Millennium Park. But its location in downtown affected the views from the tower as well as views of the tower from outside the structure. The view of Lake Michigan would be great from the top, but what about the views from those middle floors that were blocked by other high-rises? Gang's answer was to make the view from each condominium or hotel balcony unique.




    Gang and her design team constructed a model of the neighborhood, then used string to plot the endpoints of the views from each unit of the structure, which will feature condominiums, apartments, an 18-floor hotel, retail, and office space. By adding balconies that sweep in and out along the perimeter of the tower, Gang has created views that would not necessarily be available in a box-like building, while also forming undulating waves on the building's concrete exterior. Some units will look down on the city's Millennium Park, others will highlight the view of Michigan Avenue. The terraces don't just extend out to create exterior waves, either. Each balcony provides shade and an obstructed view from the floors above and below it. No two balconies are exactly alike. That makes Aqua equal parts sculpture and functional mixed-use tower.


    Making waves

    The design presents construction challenges for local general contractor James McHugh Construction, whose concrete portfolio includes the city's corncob-like Marina City Towers of more than 40 years ago up to the new Trump International Tower along the Chicago River.

    By adding balconies that sweep in and out along the perimeter of the tower, Gang has created views that would not necessarily be available in a box-like building, while also forming undulating waves on the building's concrete exterior.

    “The balconies extend a maximum of 12 feet from the perimeter,” said David Alexander, SVP at McHugh. “So the perimeter of the building is essentially different on every single floor. Because of the cantilevered balconies, no hoist can be closer than 12 feet to the structure. The framing of each floor will be difficult, as the balconies will be cantilevered off the column line and cannot hold support for upper floors.”

    To support the building while each floor plate is constructed, McHugh will build a solid temporary structure set more than 12 feet away from the building in all directions that will rise to the 82-story height of Aqua. To create each balcony, Alexander said McHugh workers will use 130 bridges that account for the length of each different balcony in the project.

    “No two balconies are the same, so you have to build them uniquely every time,” Alexander said.

    McHugh will also have to position its four construction hoists outside the 12-foot area of the balconies. Two hoists for the first 40 floors and two for the top half of the building will also be attached by bridges to the formwork system.


    Another deep pour

    The marshy lakefront land will require a deep concrete mat to enable the tower to achieve its 822-foot height. The Building Team will pour 2,500 yards of concrete into the former rail yard site where Aqua will break ground this spring. The Building Team also will sink more than 300 caissons into the site, while working around more than 1,100 linear feet of underground freight tunnels.

    One advantage that McHugh does have is that Studio/Gang is a firm believer in the use of building information modeling (BIM). Thus, construction teams will be able to share construction documents and plans via PDAs and on-site computers. The shape of each of Aqua's concrete floor slabs, for instance, will be plotted via global positioning satellite coordinates extrapolated from the project's CAD files. “We'll have the CAD files so we can take any measurements from there,” Alexander said.


    Tenants on site

    It is anticipated that a number of tenant uses will come online before the Aqua project is completed in 2009. Construction workers will still be completing the upper floors when the hotel opens on floors 4-19. The apartments on floors 20-53 are planned to open early, too.

    Alexander noted that the Trump International Tower Chicago will also open its lower floors before completion. “Safety is the biggest concern, of course,” he said. “Beyond that, moving construction crews around tenants is challenging,” with vertical transportation from only 24 elevators and four hoists in the whole building. There is also a need to control dust, noise, and water during construction. “It's something we've done before for tall building projects like this,” said Alexander. “I think it's going to become more common for these projects. This is the way they are being built now.”


    2008 Reed Business Information
    Last edited by Zephyr; May 7th, 2008 at 02:38 PM.

  12. #42
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Fantastic, dynamic building.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
    Concrete Puts the Waves In Aqua


    One advantage that McHugh does have is that Studio/Gang is a firm believer in the use of building information modeling (BIM). Thus, construction teams will be able to share construction documents and plans via PDAs and on-site computers. The shape of each of Aqua's concrete floor slabs, for instance, will be plotted via global positioning satellite coordinates extrapolated from the project's CAD files. “We'll have the CAD files so we can take any measurements from there,” Alexander said.
    ...

    For anyone interested in BIM, just this year there was a book published through Wiley Press, called BIM Handbook: A Guide to Building Information Modeling for Owners, Managers, Designers, Engineers and Contractors. I think this book will become a standard based on what I hear in a number of inhouse training programmes in both Chicago and New York.

  14. #44
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    Looks like they're not recovering the Prudential building. : P
    Last edited by stache; May 8th, 2008 at 02:07 AM. Reason: Zephyr clued me in!

  15. #45

    Default Sampling of Recent Photos - Ending 16 June 2008

    14 June 2008:








    Courtesy SSP / Early Buyer


    No Date Given



    Courtesy SSP / hawkeye view



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