Looking Up Aqua’s Skirt

For the last few years, Aqua (430 East Waterside Drive), the Studio Gang skyscraper that anchors the west end of Lakeshore East, has generated more local and international buzz than pretty much any other new Chicago building.  But most people only admire it from afar.

Even those tourists and architectural photographers who make us feel up-close to Aqua while trying to make sense, patterns, and art out of its rows of wavy balconies don’t really get up-in-your-face close.

If they did, they’d notice this:  Aqua has lots of great curves other than its balconies.

Check out the Gehry-esque skirt that balloons out from the base of Aqua and shelters one of its driveways.

Elsewhere, a look up Aqua’s dress reveals rows of fins, like some great filter-feeding whale.

Lots of people think they’ve figured out Aqua.  And while I’m not as big a fan of it as I once was, I suspect it has a few more surprises to show us.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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