With its rippling facade and vast green roof, Chicago’s Aqua Tower is a revelation. It’s also the tallest building in the world to be designed by a woman.
The Aqua Tower, rising up in a dance of ever-changing concrete forms, is very different from its neighbours. Seen from the sidewalk, it really does have the look of a multi-layered Lake Michigan rock formation, albeit one that towers above the city. This is a Chicago landmark that has broken out of the city-wide straitjacket of right angles and smooth surfaces – as if Gaudi had taken up skyscraper design, or a spinning ballerina had morphed into a building.