Aqua Skyscraper Captures Lakeshore East’s 2nd Prix International Design Award

Share Article

Bold in both design and function, the architecturally distinguished Aqua tower developed by Magellan Development Group at Lakeshore East has captured the blossoming community’s second prestigious Prix d’Excellence International Design Award from the International Real Estate Federation.

Bold in both design and function, the architecturally distinguished Aqua tower developed by Magellan Development Group at Lakeshore East has captured the blossoming community’s second prestigious Prix d’Excellence International Design Award from the International Real Estate Federation.

The 87-story mixed-use tower at 225 N. Columbus Drive in Chicago, IL USA that anchors the west boundary of the 28-acre neighborhood earned the international award in the 2011 Prix Residential High-Rise category. The Lakeshore East master plan captured the 2008 Prix award from the International Real Estate Federation.

The world’s fifth tallest building completed in 2009 and one of the tallest skyscrapers designed by an architectural team headed by a woman, Jeanne Gang, principal of Studio/Gang Architects, has already been proclaimed with highly-esteemed international design awards. These include the 2009 Skyscraper of the Year Award from Emporis, the international building database, besting more than 300 competitors worldwide.

Aqua also holds the 2008 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

A global award in every sense of the word, the unique Prix d’ Excellence is given to projects that show excellence at every stage of their creation. It “recognizes the project that best embodies excellence in all the real estate disciplines involved in it creation” and is awarded by an international panel of experts who evaluate developments “with respect to such criteria as design, construction, benefit to the community, environmental impact, ease of facilities management, financial viability, marketing strategies and lifestyle improvement for its occupants.”     

Prix award winners were announced May 19 at the FIABCI (the International Real Estate Federation) 62nd World Congress held in Paphos, Cyprus. Accepting the award was Magellan co-CEO Joel Carlins. The World Congress is held in different nations each year.

The only other 2011 U.S. Prix award winner is Liberty Station, a Corky McMillin Companies development in San Diego.

In addition to Lakeshore East’s dual Prix awards in the residential category, other past Chicago winners include University of Illinois/Chicago for public sector design/2007; Millennium Park for leisure design/2005; Northwestern Memorial Hospital specialized category/2000; AT&T Corporate Center for office/industrial design/1998.

Other past U.S. winners in the residential categories include Trump World Tower in New York (2003); Harbor Point Apartments in Boston (1996) and The Woodlands in Texas (1992).

In all, the United States has produced 13 Prix award winners since the award program’s inception in 1992.

Founded in France in 1945 and officially constituted as FIABCI in 1951, the Federation now represents 106 national real estate trade associations with a membership of more than two million real estate professionals from 60 countries, including Russia and China.

The Federation also enjoys a ‘special consultative’ status with the United Nations and particularly its Economic and Social Council (ESOCOC), serving as an adviser on various global property issues.

Proclaimed one of the world’s most fascinating skyscrapers and boldly enhancing the skyline of what a leading architectural critic declares to be “the first city in American architecture,” Aqua’s dramatic design is produced by outdoor balconies and terraces that form unique, undulating contours of different sizes and shapes. They flow like ocean waves and imitate the striated outcroppings visible throughout the shoreline of the Great Lakes region. The $475 million Aqua tower is one of seven completed structures and the keystone of the emerging Lakeshore East community.

Hailed by a leading architectural critic as “Chicago’s most sensuous skyscraper” and contrasting sharply from the more stolid forms that mark Chicago’s architecturally distinguished skyline, Aqua is a blend of luxury residences, a forthcoming Radisson Blu hotel, the first in the United States, as well as office and retail space.

While its fame is focused largely on views of Aqua, its unique design is actually the result of view studies conducted by Gang to provide the most unimpeded sight lines to maximize views from Aqua to places of interest beyond the existing structures surrounding Lakeshore East, including Lake Michigan, Millennium Park and Chicago’s breathtaking skyline in all directions.

Aqua has also been built to eco-friendly LEED standards, including its sun-shading balconies and low E-tinted glass that help maintain optimal temperature control and the 80,000-square-foot extensively landscaped roof garden.

Aqua also boasts such features as energy-efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures, rapidly renewable bamboo flooring, and the Midwest’s first public electric car-charging stations in an all-underground parking garage.

Aqua combines elegant residences on floors 19 through 81, with floors 4 to 18 being transformed into the flagship upscale Radisson Blu hotel in the United States. It is notable that the lowest of the condo floors, floor 53, are actually among the highest in the city; in many cases they are higher than most penthouses in the city.        

Aqua’s design also incorporates the most extraordinary amenities package in the city – if not any metropolitan center.

Known as The Shore Club and comparable to a world-class resort, it includes two floors of outdoor/indoor entertainment and recreation features that boast the largest outdoor pool and amenity deck in the city.

Components of the 80,000-square-foot landscaped deck include a sundeck and gardens, running track, swimming pool and hot tub, gazebos and poolside cabanas, fire pit, barbecue areas and wireless Internet.

Indoors, a 35,000-square-foot amenity floor provides residents and guests with fitness facilities, a basketball court, group fitness studio, indoor lap pool and hot tub, a spa, sauna, steam and massage rooms, private club suites with catering kitchens, sky garden lounge, media room, billiards and game area and business center.

Perpetuating the spirit of noted urban planner Daniel Burnham’s celebrated Burnham plan, The Aqua tower and Lakeshore East have transformed what was a desolate, difficult and blighted area of on the east side of downtown Chicago into a vibrant, sparkling community that will ultimately be home to up to 15,000 residents, businesses and merchants. They have converted an environment that had no need for protection or conservation into an architecturally appealing and diverse ‘village’ that is easily accessible to Chicago’s countless cultural, dining and entertainment attractions and business centers.

For additional information on Aqua and Lakeshore East contact Tricia Van Horn of Magellan Development Group at (312) 469-8054 or visit the website,


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Tricia Van Horn
Visit website


Aqua Condos