Day 217: The Nautical Theme

This is a view of the Nautical buildings along the Chicago River.

A daring piece of architecture for The Loop area, Aqua comes off more as a massive sculpture than as a residential block in the crowded heart of the city. The name “Aqua” is in keeping with the nautical theme most of the buildings in the Lakeshore East development have: The Tides, The Shoreham, The Regatta, etc… But while those were conventional skyscrapers, Aqua is special.
At its heart it is the standard glass box we’ve seen before. But protruding from its surface are undulating concrete balconies resembling ripples or waves. This is an appropriate homage considering the building’s location near both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. But the ripples are not without challenge. Much like each wave in the lake, each floor plate in Aqua is unique, thus construction is unusually complicated. And for homeowners, not all units are equal. While some people may have a balcony up to 12 feet wide, others will be measuring theirs with a ruler rather than a yardstick.

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