Pretty Much the Most Epic Photograph of Aqua You’re Likely to See This Year
Aug29

Pretty Much the Most Epic Photograph of Aqua You’re Likely to See This Year

Whether you consider Aqua (225 North Columbus Drive) an architectural masterpiece or a simple conjuring trick, it is at least pleasing to the eye. Over the weekend, Loop Spy Daniel sent in this photograph of Aqua that shows it in all its glory — from its double-height penthouse all the way down to its pool, gardens, the zen garden, and even the Aqua Townhomes that line its eastern base. This isn’t the first time...

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Smoking Hot Models: Lakeshore East Goes Blue
Mar04

Smoking Hot Models: Lakeshore East Goes Blue

A few months ago, we brought you Smoking Hot ModelsSM: The Light-Up Lakeshore East.  The photos of that candy-colored miniature were taken when the display was in the hands of Magellan Development.  As noted in that article, the model is now in the hands of bKL Architecture, which has placed it on public display in the windows of its office in Aqua at 225 North Columbus Drive. bKL has also taken the flavor out of the buildings....

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Inside Studio Gang Architects Exhibit Features Works By Celebrated Chicago Firm
Jan06

Inside Studio Gang Architects Exhibit Features Works By Celebrated Chicago Firm

When the City Hyde Park mixed-use development (1501 East Hyde Park Boulevard) is completed in 2014, residential units will boast an innovative balcony construction without external bracing. The result will be column-free views and balconies extending farther from the building. The creative design of the South Side project is typical of the work of Studio Gang Architects (SGA). City Hyde Park and a dozen other SGA projects are featured...

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Smoking Hot Models: The Light-Up Lakeshore East [Video]
Dec26

Smoking Hot Models: The Light-Up Lakeshore East [Video]

Magellan Development, the people behind the downtown architectural Disneyland that is Lakeshore East, have this wonderful model of their project that gets updated as more and more buildings go up. Sure, lots of companies have little models of their buildings.  But this one’s different — it lights up! The completed buildings are illuminated from inside, and the effect is really nice. Here’s the best part — We...

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Lakeshore East Finally Gets A School But Not What It Expected
Jun12

Lakeshore East Finally Gets A School But Not What It Expected

For as long as there have been bulldozers turning dirt in Lakeshore East, there have been neighbors anxiously, even angrily, awaiting the construction of a new public elementary school to once and for all turn the development into a neighborhood. We can report the good news — a school is coming.  And the bad news — It’s not going to be public. One of the hazards of being an urban pioneer is that the promises of...

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Looking at Lakeshore East
Jun08

Looking at Lakeshore East

One of the very first posts we put on this blog almost ten years ago showed the early days of the development of Lakeshore East.  Back then the area that would become downtown Chicago’s newest master planned community was just a big dirt lot as bulldozers transformed a temporary golf course into an urban oasis. But ten years ago is nothing in comparison with the overall time that Lakeshore East has been on the drawing boards....

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Inside Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Apr30

Inside Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Another Chicago architecture firm has invited us into its offices to give us a look behind the minds that shape our city. Solomon Cordwell Buenz is among the city’s more prolific firms.  If you’ve been to downtown Chicago, you’ve seen an SCB building.  They’re everywhere.  From slender skyscrapers like 50 East Chestnut Street to shorter, but no less prominent, buildings like the Crate and Barrel flagship store...

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Reading About Jeanne’s Gang
Jun09

Reading About Jeanne’s Gang

There is a pattern that people follow when they make the transition from ordinary to noteworthy on the way to celebrity.  It goes like this: Toil in obscurity Do something people like Get lots of local newspaper coverage Get a smattering of local TV coverage Get national newspaper coverage Get a coffee table book made about you   Local architect Jeanne Gang is up to step #6 with the release of “Reveal: Studio Gang...

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Looking Up Aqua’s Skirt
Jan28

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...

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