Aqua is an 86-story mixed-use residential skyscraper in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago. Designed by a team led by Jeanne Gang, the building is the tallest in the world to have a woman as lead archite
ct, at 859 ft. The form of the Aqua is extremely unique. Composed of irregularly shaped concrete slabs, Gang cites the striated limestone out croppings that are a common topographic feature of the Great Lakes region as inspiration for these slabs. But this sinuous shape is not just a mere formal gesture, but it is also a strategy to extend the views and maximize solar shading. The wave-like form of the building is both organic and fluid. This simulates a continuous motion as spectators move around the structure.