Noted Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid died unexpectedly in Miami on March 31, 2016. Some of her spectacular designs include the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics and the stunning Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in Lansing, Michigan, which I’ve blogged about. Zaha has a worthy successor in Chicago–Jeanne Gang. Ruth and I visited Aqua, her 2009 project at 225 North Columbus Drive, last week. A short walk from Millennium Park, it’s a design masterpiece.
82-story Aqua, which is sometimes described as an urban resort, is surrounded by other skyscrapers, some of which seem to dominate it, until I got close enough to clearly see its quietly unique beauty. Aqua looks like a building in motion with gentle ocean waves lapping around its entire Isosceles Trapezoid exterior. Inside are 764 condos and apartments and a dazzling hotel, the Radisson Blue Aqua. All of this opened in 2009.
And now Jeanne is involved in another residential project in Chicago’s Lakeshore East–Vista, a 3-level, 94-story gem of a building that is rightly being advertised as an architectural wonder. To me it looks a bit like a slim-waisted Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower and the world’s tallest building until 1998.
With its floor to ceiling windows and curved balconies, LEED-certified Aqua must be a memorable place to live. And visit. Ruth and I felt like we were in a 5 Compass tourist attraction while there.