The architectureworld is buzzing this morning with big news – architect Jeanne Gang, best known for the groundbreakingly curvaceous Aqua Tower in Chicago, has won a $500,000 MacArthur Genius Grant. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today that the Chicago architect was among 22 MacArthur Foundation fellows being honored for their innovative contributions to design and technology. As a winner of the Genius Grant, Gang will receive $500,000 over the next five years.

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“Jeanne Gang is an architect challenging the aesthetic and technical possibilities of the art form in a wide range of structures. Always responsive to the specific geography, social and environmental context, and purpose of each project, Gang creates bold yet functional forms for residential, educational, and commercial buildings. Her most highly acclaimed building,Aqua (2010), is an 82-story, mixed-use skyscraper in Chicago. The undulating contours of Aqua’s balconies infuse the familiar high-rise profile with an unusual optical poetry; at the same time, energy-efficient features such as heat-resistant and fritted glass, rainwater collection systems, and energy-saving lighting systems address environmental concerns on a large scale,” writes the MacArthur Foundation of her achievements.

As a website devoted to highlighting the most innovative new practices in sustainable architecture, we can’t say how thrilled we are to see Ms. Gang acknowledged for her masterful endeavors and ability to design structures that are not only green, but also push the boundaries of what our built environment can look like.

For a full list of all of the winners, click here.

+ Studio Gang