With a twist of stunning design and environmentalism, the Aqua Tower in Chicago is uniquely perched on Wired.com′s list of Weekly Picks of Stunning Architecture

In a weekly series that started in January, Wired Design is featuring a photo of one of its favorite buildings each Friday, showcasing boundary-pushing architecture and design involved in the unique structures that make the world's cityscapes interesting. The Aqua Tower in Chicago is on the list, with this unique nod to its design and its environmental citizenship:

Reflective glass makes a beautiful facade, but it can be deadly for birds, which often can't tell the glass from the sky or trees it reflects. Studio Gang Architects designed their Aqua Tower with that in mind: the undulating concrete terraces (see photo at right) not only provide balcony space for residents, but help restrict the angle the reflections can be seen from. Railings and glass made with a small amount of ceramic in it help break the reflections up further, making the 859-foot tower, completed in 2010, exemplary for bird safety, according to both the American Bird Conservancy and PETA. But it's not just about the birds. The swells and flares, based on striated limestone formations, also shade apartments from the sun and help protect against wind, all while maintaining a square footprint.

To see the photo of the Aqua Tower on Wired.com and to check out some of the other stunning weekly picks from Singapore, Panama City, Shanghai, New York City, Tokyo and more, visit Wired.com.

April 15, 2013
Photo caption:
Wired.com is hosting an image gallery of its architectural favorites in a series of online Friday posts. The Aqua Tower in Chicago is on the list, for reasons beyond its aesthetic beauty. Check it out.