Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stunning Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago

Chicago, known architecturally for its brutal 108-story Sears Tower (Willis Tower now), now has a gentler but still imposing new building to show off. It's the 81-story Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, which opens November 1. It's the first Radisson Blu hotel in the United States, and the tallest tower in the world designed by a female architect.

Jeanne Gang, of Studio Gang Architects not only came up with an amazing looking building for her first skyscraper, but made it energy efficient, too. The undulating, irregularly-shaped balconies not only convey the rippling of water but also work as solar shades for the room or apartment below. The shapes also interrupt the wind flow off Lake Michigan, so there can be usable outdoor space up high in the air.

The hotel takes up 18 floors of the tower, has 334 guest rooms and suites, and flaunts an 80,000-square-foot green roof and recreation deck.

I probably can't afford to stay there, but when I go to Chicago, I'll definitely want to check it out.

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