New York Times

...thank god she accepted our teeny-budget house project before this happened....

congrats to the who team!!  amazingly generous, enormously talented-- and just really great folks.

In 2010, Jeanne Gang, of Studio Gang Architects, changed the skyline of her hometown, Chicago, with Aqua, an 82-story tower. Girded by irregular thin concrete balconies, the building seems to flutter with the winds that gust off nearby Lake Michigan. Yet Aqua’s beautiful skin is not just for show: the balconies block the sun’s rays and slice through breezes, allowing residents to venture outdoors at heights unprecedented in Chicago. The daughter of a Belvidere, Ill., engineer, Ms. Gang, 47, spent her childhood touring bridges. This may have inspired her habit of coaxing lyricism out of rigor in many of her designs. They include a community center with striated walls layered from odd-lot donations of concrete, and an environmental center in a former industrial site that evokes a bird’s nest with materials of scavenged steel, slag and glass. Last week she was named a MacArthur Foundation fellow, one of a handful of architects ever to receive that $500,000 honor. She spoke to a reporter about it by telephone from her office in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, where she works with a staff of 36, including her husband, Mark Schendel, the firm’s managing principal. 

Congratulations on your prize. Forgive me for asking two questions that always go with the MacArthur announcements, but what went through your mind when you heard you had won, and how do you plan to spend the money?
When I first heard, it didn’t connect, and then I just started hyperventilating. I was thinking about all the things I’ve wanted to do and have been constantly struggling to fund. Our work has had a large experimental component. 

read the whole story here 

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