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Founded in 1997 by recently-named MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang is a full-service architectural firm based in Chicago, Illinois. With a small but powerful staff of 35 architects, SGA is quickly becoming the benchmark for Chicago architectural design with innnovative work ranging from enormous award-winning skyscrapers to private pavilions. Despite the amazing range of work, each of SGA’s work is similar in that the work is a derivation of their multidisciplinary and collaborative design process. And while SGA is by no means a new face to those familiar to the architectural industry, our goal as a multi-industry design digest is to bring industry mainstays to the attention of parallel design fields.
According to the SGA website, “Our practice is grounded in the belief that this thoughtful and collaborative approach is necessary for all projects, especially those whose impact and complexity is considerable. Rather than waiting until a project’s design is developed to conduct in-depth planning research, Studio Gang obtains this critical knowledge early on: at the beginning of a project’s concept design phase. By understanding clients’ project goals and strategizing methods to achieve them from the very beginning, the project’s budget and timeline are preserved and respected, and a more compelling building design is conceived to serve as the basis from which the final project grows.” The firm also exhibits a strong environmential consciousness: all team members are expected to become LEED Accredited Professionals within one year of joining the firm and several of our projects are targeting a LEED Platinum rating.
We would be remiss in our work to exclude SGA’s Aqua Tower from this description — the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper of the year is one of the most publicized Chicago architectural work in recent years and its signature “waves” have become familiar elements in the Lakeshore East skyline. The building is the tallest structure in the world designed by a woman (Jeanne herself), and features unique floorplates that results in a striking, undulating building form. The complex contains apartments, condominiums, and a hotel.