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Agua Building in Chicago Fascinating

A week or so ago I did a post about the current Matisse exhibit at the Chicago Institute of Art and a bit about a building nearby–the Aqua Building.  Got some interesting comments and am personally quite fascinated with this building.  Still can’t decide if I like it.  That seems to be true of many of the folks commenting on the building on the Internet sites.  Mixed.

One of the comments that I found  particularly fascinating is that the building is not located on an appropriate site to show off the curving lines of the balconies.  Hmmmm.    Unless one is Richard Meijer or Frank Gehry, architects generally don’t get to choose the site.  They work with what the project presents.  The question is more did the architect work effectively with what he or she was given?

The plot of land that Aqua is situated on is an interesting challenge.  On a quick trip to Chicago last week my husband asked me to point it out as we were driving up Lake Shore Drive.  Couldn’t do it.  It was hidden from view and then totally impossible when we had to turn on Wacker to reach our destination. From that vantage point, the building is imbedded  in a forest of skyscrapers.

Later, however, I found myself enjoying a splendid view of this modern addition to Chicago city scape from a Chicago River Tour boat where it gleamed in the sun.  Here are some additional views of the building and as always I invite conversation and comments.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Kate Dernocoeur
    May 9, 2010 Reply

    Susan – what beautiful photos, of a building of which I was unaware. Need to go to Chicago now! Thanks.

  2. posted by
    M Kleyla
    Jun 1, 2011 Reply

    Hey Susan – this building was designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects – her first ‘skyscraper’ project and we in the Design industry are so proud of a woman designing this spectacular building!  Great cover story in the May 9 edition of ENR magazine.

  3. posted by
    Visiting the Poetry Foundation in Chicago | DesignDestinations
    Oct 23, 2011 Reply

    […] commented that it is a “quiet box, bereft of the sort of wow-inducing undulations that have made Jeanne Gang’s Aqua tower such a crowd […]

  4. posted by
    Jul 13, 2012 Reply

    What a fascinating structure. I tend to like it just because it is so different. It must have taken a very creative mind to come up with the “waves”!

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