New Yorker — “Wave Effect”

February 1, 2010

Paul Goldberger reviews the Aqua Tower for the New Yorker. 

“Gang turned the facade into an undulating landscape of bending, flowing concrete, as if the wind were blowing ripples across the surface of the building. You know this tower is huge and solid, but it feels malleable, its exterior pulsing with a gentle rhythm.”

“The success of Aqua isn’t just that Gang figured out a smart, low-budget way of turning an ordinary glass condo tower into something that looks exciting. The design is anchored in common sense in two ways that aren’t immediately apparent, making the building, from a technical point of view, even more remarkable than it looks. The balcony overhangs of the façade serve an environmental purpose, shading apartments from the hot summer sun. More ingenious still, they protect the building from the force of wind, one of the most difficult challenges in skyscraper engineering. The landscape of rolling hills and valleys created by the balconies effectively confuses the heavy Chicago winds, giving them no clear path.”

Read more at the New Yorker