Matthew Slutsky
October 31, 2009

The facade.. the green roof… and it is the tallest building in the world to be designed by a woman. All sounds very cool, but to really get a feel for it check out the image!

Drawing Lake Michigan up to the sky, beginning on the 53rd floor and soaring 81-stories, Aqua is destined to be the most talked about building in Chicago.

According to a recent article by The Gaurdian:

“The Aqua Tower, rising up in a dance of ever-changing concrete forms, is very different from its neighbours. Seen from the sidewalk, it really does have the look of a multi-layered Lake Michigan rock formation, albeit one that towers above the city. This is a Chicago landmark that has broken out of the city-wide straitjacket of right angles and smooth surfaces – as if Gaudi had taken up skyscraper design, or a spinning ballerina had morphed into a building.”

Sounds and looks pretty awesome. It also makes me quite envious of Chicago’s skyscrapers. Toronto is the land of development. Some reports indicate that we have more developments and projects than any other City in North America. So, why are Toronto’s condominiums so conservative?

The closest thing that Toronto has to such unique curves and interesting residential architecture is Cityzen’s Absolute Towers (in Mississauga).

In fact, it seems that the only truly unique aspect of Aqua is the design. According to Jonathan Glancey, “Behind its weaving balconies, this 82-storey residential and hotel tower is a largely conventional building. Conventional in plan, that is, but unexpected in terms of form, and laced through with amenities and luxuries.”

Maybe developers in Toronto are scared of trying such unique form? Aqua did darn well. Although it opens in the middle of the worst recession to hit the US since the 1930s, most of its 740 flats have been sold. BOOM!

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