WBEZ | Aqua Tower http://www.wbez.org/tags/aqua-tower Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Video: Jeanne Gang talks about her first skyscraper http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-09-20/video-jeanne-gang-talks-about-her-first-skyscraper-92209 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/jeanne gang.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Jeanne Gang, who just won a MacArthur Genius Grant, talked the Aqua Tower, mushrooms and more when she appeared on <em>The Interview Show</em> last year. Proof that the quickest way to get a Genius Grant is to appear on the show!</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8cHU38BBLSg" width="560"></iframe></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EuJH7qhGlH8" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 14:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-09-20/video-jeanne-gang-talks-about-her-first-skyscraper-92209 Composer creates musical piece inspired by Aqua Tower http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-04-18/composer-creates-musical-piece-inspired-aqua-tower-85338 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/aqua1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-18/aqua2.jpg" title="" height="640" width="313"></p><p>Aqua Tower, the tall beauty with the undulating balconies has become an instant architectural celebrity since its completion in 2009; the subject of accolades, the winner of honors--and now the inspiration for<em> Aqua</em>, a string quartet musical piece written by New York composer Harold Meltzer who will oversee the composition's Chicago premiere next week.</p><p>Meltzer got the idea for the piece after seeing photographs of Aqua last year in <em>The New Yorker.</em></p><p>"I was instantly mesmerized," Meltzer said. "I kept looking at the pictures." He then downloaded more images from the internet, some showing the whole building; others showing details of the balconies. The photographs--and the order in which he downloaded them--inform the piece, he said.</p><p>Meltzer has never seen Aqua in person, but will likely get his chance when he visits the city April 27. That's when the Avalon String Quartet will perform Meltzer's <em>Aqua</em> as part of the ensemble's <em>American Voices</em> concert at the Merit School of Music at 38 South Peoria. It will be the first time <em>Aqua</em> has been performed in Chicago.</p><p>Architect Jeanne Gang, whose firm, Studio/Gang designed Aqua said she recently heard about <em>Aqua.</em> "I am so excited to listen to the piece" and wants to attend the concert to hear firsthand, she said.</p><p>So what does the piece sound like? Meltzer said the composition takes its cues from the building's design and the "amazing way the line of the building is mediated by all those undulations." He said "there is a series of 'curves' in the first part of the piece. The second piece is one big curve--like seeing one of those [balconies] up close."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-18/aqua1.jpg" style="width: 496px; height: 372px;" title=""></p><p>The 44-year-old composer has been previously inspired by architecture. He wrote <em>Brion</em> after seeing architect Carlos Scarpa's modernist Brion Cemetery in San Vito d'Altivole, Italy. The piece was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. Here are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Meltzer-Brion-Sindbad-Exiles-Sequitur/dp/B0040AT66A">samples of it</a> on Amazon.</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 15:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-04-18/composer-creates-musical-piece-inspired-aqua-tower-85338 Baby, there's a shark near the water: The blade-edged Swissotel still looks sharp after 20+ years http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-03-15/baby-theres-shark-near-water-blade-edged-swissotel-still-looks-sharp-after-2 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-March/2011-03-16/swissotel_leebey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="380" width="258" title="" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-16/untitled shoot-050.jpg" /></p><p>Forgive me for paraphrasing that <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPQlxHWsemI&amp;feature=related">great&nbsp; VV&nbsp;Brown tune</a> in the above headline. I was strolling around Wacker east of Michigan yesterday when I admired again the sublime, blade-like coolness of the Swissotel; a silvery architectural dorsal fin right at the edge of the Chicago River.</p><p>Completed in 1989, the silvery 45-story hotel is the work of the late, great Chicago architectural icon Harry Weese. The hotel--much like Weese skyscraper jail, the slit-windowed Metropolitan Correctional Center at Clark and Van Buren--is a three-sided building, rather than a four-sided box.&nbsp; Located 323 E. Wacker Drive, the Swissotel was a late addition to the predominantly 1970s-era Illinois Center complex. But looking at it now, the building is a transition between the old Miesian boxes next door and the sleek new generation of buildings that were to come to the area, such as the neighboring Aqua Tower, and nearby Blue Cross/Blue Shield building at Columbus and Randolph.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="380" width="342" title="" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-16/untitled shoot-055.jpg" /></p><p>The building is skinned in opaque and reflective glass that nicely mirror the city around it. You can see the Wrigley Building, the modernist 401 N. Michigan Ave., and Trump Tower reflected in this portion of the hotel's base.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="380" width="307" title="" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-16/untitled shoot-071.jpg" /></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="380" width="248" title="" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-16/untitled shoot-069.jpg" /></p><p>If somebody out there is compiling a roster of the city's future architectural landmarks, here's hoping they add this one to the list.</p></p> Wed, 16 Mar 2011 04:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-03-15/baby-theres-shark-near-water-blade-edged-swissotel-still-looks-sharp-after-2