Aqua Tower - Studio/Gang/Architects DVD
Chicago is famous for its role in fostering modern architecture, owing to the legacy of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1900s, and Mies van der Rohe in the mid-20th Century. Now Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, is giving the epithet "Chicago School" a new meaning.
Gang, who started her architectural practice in Chicago in 1997, completed Aqua, an 82-story apartment tower, overlooking the city's Millennium Park in 2009. She has differentiated herself from the big-office architects (who usually get apartment building commissions) by the design of a sinuously curving concrete tower that is as imaginative as it is elegant. Already an icon on the city's skyline, the concrete floor plates take on a different contour at each level, with variously curved cantilevered balconies.
This film not only examines the thinking behind Aqua that makes its presence on the skyline so striking, but takes visitors to Gang's award-winning "Brick Weave House" (2009) in a Chicago residential neighborhood, where brick walls form a large open-air "screened porch" at the house's front. Another project, the SOS Children's Village Lavezzorio Community Center on Chicago's South Side (2008), makes use of irregular, workmanlike concrete. In addition, Blair Kamin, the architectural critic of The Chicago Tribune, appears in the film to elucidate the impact Gang has had on the Chicago landscape.
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