Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Aqua (Skyscraper) Abstracts

I have to admit, it's taken me a while to warm up to Aqua.  If you're unfamiliar, Aqua is one of Chicago's newest skyscrapers, located at 225 N Columbus Dr. and completed in 2009 as part of the Lakeshore East development.  It's 86 stories of luxury condos, apartments, and a hotel, but its main claim to fame is a series of curved, cantilevered balconies that cover just about the entire structure and give the building a unique, wavy appearance.  The word "undulating" keeps popping into my head.

The key to Aqua is, you have to walk around it, view it from different angles, and then walk right up to it.  From a distance I just don't find it that compelling a building.

DSC_3628
Nikon D7000 w/ 16-85mm lens, 1/320sec at f9, ISO400. Copyright 2011 Andy Marfia.

But once you get up close, especially if the light is hitting it right, it really becomes a bizarre and fascinating creature:

balcony erosion
Nikon D7000 w/ 16-85mm lens, 1/400sec at f9, ISO400. Copyright 2011 Andy Marfia.

Of course, it also helps if you have a decent zoom lens on your camera:

Making Waves
Nikon D7000 w/ 55-200mm Nikkor lens, 1/160sec f8, ISO800. Copyright 2012 Andy Marfia. Note: this photo was taken at a later date than the others in this set-- it replaces a previous version.

grillin' on the 44th
Nikon D7000 w/ 55-200mm Nikkor lens, 1/160sec f8, ISO800. Copyright 2011 Andy Marfia.

Another notable fact about Aqua: it was designed by Jeanne Gang and Chicago based Studio Gang Architects, and is the tallest building in the world to have a woman as lead architect, at 859 ft (262 m).  Neat.

2 comments:

JohnAK said...

So... 86 floors. Female architect. Does this finally answer the age old question of whether size matters?

Sorry, couldn't resist. Nice photos.

Andy said...

@John: I think it's fair to say, when it comes to skyscrapers, that size pretty much always matters.