Chicago Real Estate Earns International Award

May 30, 2011

An international real estate group has honored a Chicago real estate tower with yet another award.

Chicago’s 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 architecturally distinguished tower, located at 225 N. Columbus Drive in Chicago, captured the international award in the 2011 Prix Residential High-Rise category. The Lakeshore East master plan had already won the 2008 Prix award.

aqua tower

Chicago's architecturally unique Aqua Tower

The 87-story mixed-use tower has received highly esteemed international design awards before including the 2009 Skyscraper of the Year Award from Emporis and the 2008 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

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.”

Aqua, which was described by a leading architectural critic as “Chicago’s most sensuous skyscraper,” was completed in 2009 as the world’s fifth tallest building and one of the tallest skyscrapers designed by an architectural team headed by a woman, Jeanne Gang, principal of Studio Gang Architects.

It offers a mix of luxury residences for rent and for sale, office and retail space and a forthcoming Radisson Blu hotel, the first in the United States. The building was designed to maximize views from the tower beyond the structures around Lakeshore East to include breathtaking sights of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park and the Chicago skyline in all directions.

The tower was also built to eco-friendly standards, including:

*Sun-shading balconies

*Low E-tinted glass that helps maintain temperature control

*An 80,000-square-foot extensively landscaped roof garden

*Energy-efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures in the condos

*Rapidly renewable bamboo flooring

Aqua also offers the Midwest’s first public electric car-charging station in an underground parking garage.

Also in the tower is The Shore Club, which offers two floors of outdoor/indoor recreation and the largest outdoor pool and amenity deck in the city.

Other amenities include a running track, gazebos and poolside cabanas, fitness facilities, a basketball court, an indoor lap pool and hot tub, a spa, sauna, steam and massage rooms, a sky garden lounge, a media room, billiards, private club suites with catering kitchens, a game area and a business center.

The only other property in the United States to win a 2011 Prix award was Liberty Station in San Diego.

In all, the United States has produced only 13 Prix award winners since the program began in 1992.

Other past Chicago winners include University of Illinois/Chicago for public sector design in 2007; Millennium Park for leisure design in 2005; Northwestern Memorial Hospital specialized category in 2000 and AT&T Corporate Center for office/industrial design in 1998.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Tracey



[…] is best known for her design of the award-winning Aqua Tower, a curvaceous skyscraper of mixed-use Chicago real estate on North Columbus Drive that offers a mix of luxury condos for sale and rent, office and retail […]

Leave a Comment