|New York in the New York skyline via Notoriety Inc.|
This is Aqua, a skyscraper in Chicago completed in 2010. It was designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. The building won many awards for it ground breaking design. The wave like surface is made with a series of curved balconies, wrapping around the building in ripples.
With a tall rectangular core and floor to ceiling windows, the basic structure of the Aqua makes it sound like it would melt into the background of similar downtown buildings. The unique design of the curving building skin makes it stand out dramatically. Even though this building lacks color variation from it neighbors it curved balconies give the over all structure a twisting undulating motion to the eye creating contrasts in color value. These wave forms, inspired by nature, are a unique way to augment the standard steel and glass skyscraper.
|Aqua in the Chicago skyline via Critique This|
Another great example of this direction in skyscrapers is the Frank Gehry residential high rise in New York.
These rippling buildings look a bit like pebbles disturbing a smooth pond. They are breaking out of the formalized vertical curtain wall of the modern high rise. Gehry himself says the building is an architectural representation of the texture and energy of the city. Ripples pass through the seemingly other wise standard flat steel and glass high rise as through the winds were pulling the surface along with it. Their site has a great video showing the interaction of the the building with the city.
|New York via Notoriety Inc.|
Up close we can see that Gehry too is using a fairly standard high rise model which is then augmented with shaped balconies and windowsills. These two building are great example of natural/modern hybrid skyscrapers. But not all uses of this shape focused innovation have come out to critical acclaim. While not a high rise, the new Burberry flagship store in Chicago definitely tried to innovate inside the contemporary gray-scale palette.
|Burberry Flagship Store in Chicago via Burberry's Google Plus page|
- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio