By Tyler Falk
Posting in Architecture
Jeanne Gang, named a MacArthur "Genius" Fellow, designs beauty, sustainability into her skyscrapers. Check out her most impressive work in downtown Chicago.
It doesn't take a genius to understand the importance of skyscrapers in a dense urban environment. It also doesn't take a genius to realize we should build our skyscrapers in more sustainable ways. But it does take a genius to make it happen, someone like Jeanne Gang.
The architect and founder of Studio Gang in Chicago is one of 22 innovators and thought leaders named this year's MacArthur "Genius" Fellows. Fellows receive $500,000 to support their ambitions over the next five years with no strings attached.
And It will be interesting to see what Gang does during those five year because her accomplishments are already huge (literally).
Just take a look at her most highly-acclaimed building. Known as "Aqua," its poetic undulating balconies flow up 82 stories in this mixed-use skyscraper in downtown Chicago.
Aqua, which the Chicago Tribune called one of Chicago's "boldest — and best — skyscrapers in years," is also a green wonder. It has heat-resistant and fritted glass, rainwater collection systems, and energy-saving lighting.
But perhaps its greenest feature is that it's largely a residential tower. While there is hotel and retail space, the majority of Aqua consists of apartments, townhouses, and condos. This allows a large number of people to live on a very small land footprint near the places they work and shop. Along with being connected to transit, the location and density greatly reduce the need for cars.
Hear from Beck herself on her architectural philosophy and what she plans to do with the money.
Photo 1: francesco.chillari/Flickr
Photo 2: Courtesy the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Sep 20, 2011
This does create a solution for over populated city dwellers. However, I, myself, am more of a land type of guy. While there is a lot of land left on this Earth, I'm sure, that will end in time. I don't like the fact that govt seems to have an agenda to push people into mass areas. So many empty foreclosed homes. (to be bulldozed for govt land?) It would suggest a prison-like living facility with more control. Not only more control of people, but with a mass of people in one area, this does propose other dangers, be it war, terrorism, the spread of bacteria and viruses, etc. So, being spread out does have it's benefits. All conspiracy theories of course, but to not theorize the possibility, would be naive. Keep your eyes open! :)
Excellent post. US philosophy has been always THINK BIG. Of late Countries like China,Taiwan etc., are also adopting SKYSCRAPER Approach. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India E-mail: email@example.com
This is the type of innovative thinking we need to restore economic greatness to America. The question is whether the blockheads in Washington and on Wall Street are listening...or, reading.