Visit the Aqua website here. Read about Aqua at Magellan Development Group and Wikipedia. Read: Greenroofs.com’s “GPW: Aqua” by Linda Velazquez in the Sky Gardens Blog of May 11, 2011; the June 29, 2010 “Finding Home – the hidden neighborhood of Lakeshore East” in Chicago Now by Rochelle Vayo Adkinson; December 18, 2008 “Aqua Tower Tour” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and a bit about the building and the architect at the June 18, 2008 Jeanne Gang: The Art of Nesting” by Stephen Zacks from Metropolis Magazine.
One of the tallest buildings in Chicago, the Aqua is a $4 billion development. The 82-story mixed-use residential skyscraper is located in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago “designed in the Modern architectural style. The building’s height of 819 ft (250 m), includes six levels of parking below ground. The building’s eight-story, 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) base is topped by a 82,550 sq ft (7,669 m2) terrace with gardens, gazebos, pools, hot tubs, a walking/running track and fire pit,” (Wikipedia).
Aqua overlooks Harbor Park, the center of the Lakeshore East development on the shores of Lake Michigan, and is settting new heights for innovation and beauty among Chicago skyscrapers. Each floor of the 82-story tower has architectonic facade of sensuously swerving white concrete balconies jumping out from amongst its stolid brethren. Each floor plate is uniquely different, designed to remind viewers of the limestone outcroppings along the Great Lakes.
The swirling garden with paths reminiscent of Robert Burle-Marxe is planted with colorful flora in lightweight soil. The intensive vegetation includes evergreen trees, shrubbery, grasses, deciduous trees, sedum and various annuals of great color, diversity, all contained within sweeping poured concrete curbs with concrete walkways, while providing views of Lake Michigan, the Navy Pier and from upper elevations, Millennium Park and points south.
The 80,000 sf landscaped roof garden capping Aqua?s three-story podium roof provides a naturalistic, eco-friendly landscape that reduces the building?s interior temperature and cooling energy requirements in the summer significantly and reduces winter heat loss. Besides reducing the urban heat-island effect of roofs the green roof contributes to improvement of the air quality by removing airborne particulate that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The plants used for all landscaped areas are both native and non-native water efficient species, helping to conserve existing natural areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. Magellan utilizes E-tinted glass in Aqua to maintain optimal temperature control in each residence. And the building?s rippling terrace extensions are designed to maximize solar shading along with architectural originality. Aqua is also the site of the Midwest?s first electric-vehicle charging station open to the public. And by placing its six-levels of parking entirely underground it eliminates stormwater runoff associated with parking decks in addition to greater reduction of the roof heat-island effect.
The 80,000 sf botanic garden uses a drip irrigation system to efficiently use water for nourishing the large collection of low evergreen and deciduous plantings that create a geometric naturalism. In addition, a continuous drainage layer allows excess water to flow under soil, gravel and concrete walls to drains and pipes. The roof?s well-nourished vegetation is not only aesthetic but also combats the heat-island effect during the hot summer months by lowering ambient temperatures around the building. Challenges addressed in creating and sustaining Aqua?s rooftop garden included weight limitations and water filtration. Because of occupied areas below, a leak detection system was installed to protect against membrane damage as well as other electric field leakage problems. In the design phase, special consideration was paid to the structural elements of the deck to account for weight and depth limitations.
Aqua’s roof deck presents an unparalleled combination of amenities along with its extraordinary topography. “Aqua at Lakeshore East is a brand new architecturally acclaimed 82-story tower designed to comply with LEED certification. Aqua’s Chicago condos for sale are part of the 28-acre award-winning Lakeshore East community located where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan adjacent to Millennium Park and the Loop Business District. Aqua is situated on Columbus Drive to the west and the 6-acre Park at Lakeshore East to the east offering access to countless recreational opportunities including the lakefront path, children’s playground, dog park, open fields, and whimsical fountain walkways. Walk to work, the Theater District, the Museum campus and Chicago?s top attractions from Lakeshore East, the best location in Chicago,” (Aqua website).