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Magellan Development’s Aqua Tower at Lakeshore East Sole U.S. Structure Nominated for International Highrise Award

by Chicago Agent

The internationally-acclaimed mixed-use Aqua tower that anchors Chicago’s rising Lakeshore East neighborhood has been selected one of five finalists for a new International Highrise Award. It is the only U.S. representative.

Recently honored as Skyscraper of the Year by Emporis, the international building database from a field of more than 300 competitors worldwide, the Aqua tower designed by Studio Gang Architects for developer Magellan Development Group was selected by an international jury of architects, engineers and property specialists by the city or Frankfurt/Main, Germany, Deutsches Architekturmuseum.

In addition to Aqua, the other 2010 finalists are:

  • Burj Khalifa, Dubai by SOM Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo, by Tange Associates.
  • The Met, Bangkok, by WOHA Architects with Tandem Architects.
  • Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

The prestigious international architectural prize for high-rises, now in its fourth year, is open to architects and engineers whose buildings must be at least 100 meters (328 feet) high.  On the basis of extensive research Deutsches Architekturmuseum nominated 27 high-rise projects from 16 countries for the competition.  The jury judged the structures along six fundamental criteria: pioneering design, aesthetics, integration with the urban setting, sustainability, innovative technology and cost efficiency.

“Whether commercial, residential or conceived as a vertical ‘city within a city,’ our five finalists are all examples of mixed-use high-rise buildings,” commented Spencer de Grey, jury chairman and head of design at Foster + Partners, London.

In social, urban and also in ecological terms, the five finalists were selected for demonstrating “a positive trend that has the opportunity of exploring new building forms.”

The jury also noted that Aqua and The Met in Bangkok address the concept of high-rise living outdoors and in green settings and thereby develop new, unusual designs.  “The jury decided that the over 200-meter buildings with balconies, terraces and communal open spaces fostered an augmented, vertical way of life which delivers long-term savings in energy resources.”

The curvaceous Aqua tower designed by the Studio Gang team headed by Jeanne Gang with Magellan affiliate Loewenberg Architects as architects of record was inspired for form by the eroded shoreline of the Great Lakes.

Situated at 225 N. Columbus Drive, a block north of Millennium Park between Randolph Street and Wacker Drive, the 82-story tower is the first high-rise in Chicago specifically designed to combine distinctive residential, hotel and retail spaces.  Carlson Hotels, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, will develop its first Radisson Blu in the United States in the Aqua tower. As part of its long-range growth strategy Carlson is planning to establish upscale Radisson Blu hotels in major U.S. cities and declares the Radisson Blu Aqua as a major step towards realizing that goal.

In addition to its breathtaking design, residents also enjoy access to more diverse amenities than any major city, indoors and out.

Already proclaimed Chicago’s most exciting new architectural landmark, Aqua’s amenities package is equally imposing, offering an unrivalled 80,000-square-foot eco-friendly outdoor deck with lush gardens, gazebos, pools and cabañas, hot tubs, running track, fire pit and grills.

Indoors, a 35,000-square-foot amenity floor provides fitness facilities, a basketball court, group fitness studio, indoor lap pool,  a spa featuring a hot tub, sauna, steam and massage rooms,  private party suites with catering kitchens, sky garden lounge, media room, billiards and game area and business center.

As a result of its unique design, Aqua’s residences command dramatic views of three of Chicago’s greatest attractions – Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and Millennium Park.

Lakeshore East  is believed to be the largest parcel of downtown land under development in a major U.S. city.

The $4 billion mixed-use development incorporates all the elements of a traditional city community, a lifestyle center that includes homes, retail, recreational opportunities along with a lush 6-acre public park and a planned elementary school.

For additional information on Magellan Development Group and  Aqua and Lakeshore East, visit the www.magellandevelopment.com website.

Photo Credit: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing

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