Jeanne Gang: Skyscrapers Are Not Only for Men

 August 9, 2018
Jeanne Gang


Jeanne Gang, born on March 19, 1964 in Illinois, the U.S., is known as one of the most important contemporary architects in America. She graduated from the Department of Architecture at the University of Illinois and obtained a master's degree in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

In 1997, Gang established her own studio in Chicago. Later, in 2013, she won the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. She was named the "Architect of the Year" by the Female Architect Awards three years later and was also nominated for the Pritzker Award.

At the end of 2009, Gang's Aqua Tower, rose from the ground at 225 North Columbus Avenue in downtown Chicago. This 82-story skyscraper is now the highest building ever designed and built by a female architect, well testifies to the fact that top-class building design is no longer an exclusive domain for male architects.

Gang's architectural design focuses on the perfection of aesthetics and sustainability. In addition to the design of the balcony to reduce energy costs, the Aqua Tower also includes an energy-efficient lighting design and green roof design on the top of the building. Gang also paid special attention to protecting birds and preventing them from hitting the glass walls.

Apart from the Aqua Tower, the Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Trail in Chicago, Clark Park WMS Houseboats and other projects designed by Gang were all aesthetically appealing and well reflect an integration of sustainable design with green concept.

In the Lincoln Park Zoo, she transformed the deserted lakeside into a pedestrian walkway, which was both ecologically friendly and at the same time serves an instructional purpose in a sense.

Outwardly, Gang's profession seems to be dealing exclusively with buildings, whilst she has positioned her professional self as the builder of neighborhood relationships.

She believes that good architectural designs not only result in an object, but promote the establishment of relationships between people, so that they can be more active and inclusive during social contact.

Thus, Gang explored encouraging or guiding occupants to communicate more with their neighbors by applying the design of a balcony as a tool for social connections.

As a female architect and head of in charge of the Architect Office, Gang was also actively involved in promoting gender equality activities. She took lead in solving the gender pay gap in her own office and called on others to participate and resolve inequalities in pay for women and men as soon as possible.

In September of 2016, the Vista Tower designed by Gang officially broke ground and is expected to be completed in 2020. Upon its completion, the 93-story, 363-meter-high skyscraper will become the third highest building in Chicago and will also break her own record to be the highest building ever designed and built by a female architect.


The Aqua Tower 

(Source: and edited by Women of China)


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