Studio Gang Architects: Aqua Tower
USA, 2009, 27 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Art, Documentary
Chicago is famous for its role in fostering modern architecture, owing to the legacy of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1900s, and Mies van der Rohe in the mid-20th Century. Now Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, is giving the epithet “Chicago School” a new meaning. Gang, who started her architectural practice in Chicago in 1997, completed Aqua, an 82-story apartment tower, overlooking the city’s Millennium Park in 2009. Already an icon on the city’s skyline, the concrete floorplates take on a different contour at each level, with variously curved cantilevered balconies.
The film not only examines the thinking behind Aqua that make its presence on the skyline so striking, but takes visitors to the award-winning “Brick Weave House” (2009) in a Chicago residential neighborhood, where brick walls form a large open-air “screened porch” at the house’s front. Another project, the SOS Children’s Village Lavezzorio Community Center on Chicago’s South Side (2008) makes use of irregular, workmanlike concrete. In addition, Blair Kamin, the architectural critic of the Chicago Tribune, appears in the film to elucidate the impact Gang has had on the Chicago landscape.
DIRECTOR: Tom Piper