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Aqua: A Beautifully Soggy Lakefront Addition

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 5, 2006 10:15PM

Aquatop.jpgIf you like the Aon Tower but wish it weren’t so boxy looking, get ready for Randolph Street’s next fabulous new building: Aqua Tower. Haven’t you heard? Buildings that look like buildings are so last century! Chicago’s latest architectural craze is to build drill bits, hotels that disappear into themselves, and now, shimmering optical illusions. Aqua, as designed by Loewenberg and Studio/Gang Architects, adds to the typical glass box a series of wavy, rippling balconies that evoke Lake Michigan’s restless tides.

If Aqua’s design makes you nauseous, take comfort in knowing it’ll have plenty of aesthetically pleasing amenities that you’ll probably never get to enjoy including pools, hot tubs, a running track, a wine room, private party suite, and a skygarden (which less imaginative real estate agents call a winter garden or a greenhouse). Owners plan to mark the higher floors for condos and the bottom half for a hotel.

The proposed 83-story structure is touted as sculpture as much as architecture, which means it will invite praise and criticism from professionals, discussion groups and message boards in both the art and architectural communities.

Image via Chicago Architecture.