Departures — “Famed Architect Jeanne Gang Talks Past and Present Projects”

September 24, 2018

“From her breakthrough Aqua Tower in Chicago, completed in 2010, to a recently announced high-rise in downtown Brooklyn, all of Gang’s projects become recognizable landmarks that foster community and a shared sense of urban identity. ...

Gang has become one of her generation’s most forward-thinking architects, a leader in the fight for more cohesive and more ecologically sensitive cities that exist in communion with nature, rather than in conflict. ...

Gang and company have a record of engaging the city at large, giving something back to the public. The firm’s first office tower in Manhattan, scheduled for completion in March, is at 40 Tenth Avenue, and it takes its nickname [Solar Carve] from an angled cutaway in its eastern facade, which faces the popular High Line park.

The move was a departure from existing zoning laws, which effectively encouraged tower developers in the surrounding lots to block sunlight from the High Line’s elevated green space. Gang’s solution ‘does just the opposite,’ she says. It’s a move that has proved so popular with planning authorities that local ordinances might change to ensure that future buildings will have to do the same. ...

Gang is convinced that architects and good design can be a connective force. ‘This is a time when everything feels so polarized,’ she says. ‘If architecture can bring people together, that’s the most important thing.’”

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Jesse Chehak