The Urban Setting Of Chicago

2392 WordsOct 16, 201610 Pages
Chicago, Illinois is home of the Cubs, Oprah and most notably it has a skyline filled with amazing skyscrapers. It was in this city that stone masonry, due to its tendency to be very heavy and needing a strong foundation and also its low tensile strength, was enthusiastically replaced by the steel skeleton of the world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building. This American city currently boasts of another feat, the world’s tallest building designed by a woman. Jeanne Gang designed the mixed-use high-rise, Aqua Tower (fig.1) for the urban setting of Chicago. Aqua Tower is the greenest and most appealing skyscraper in a place that has inspired some of the country’s greatest architecture. By using digital tools, Gang has fused traditional methods of building with an organic and sculptural façade that a few years ago would not have been achievable. As the daughter of a civil engineer, Gang developed an affinity for materials, buildings and the landscapes around them by watching her dad trace roads and bridges through rural Illinois and taking road trips to landmarks across the country. Gang confesses that her imagination is stimulated by things and elements from those childhood trips and they have found their way into her work, especially Aqua Tower. Upon graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, she worked in Europe and then returned to Illinois and worked at Booth Hansen before setting up her own firm,

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