225 N Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA


This award-winning, 82-story, 2.3 million-square-foot, mixed-use tower includes 750 residential units, both condominium and rental apartments, a 334-room Radisson Blu hotel, office space, a 1,000-vehicle parking garage and retail. The structure’s eight-story pedestal base includes a number of amenities and is topped by an 80,000-square-foot terrace with gardens, gazebos, pools, hot tubs, a running track and fire pit.

The unique design by Studio/Gang/Architects has received international attention for the undulating “waves” of concrete that make up the balconies. Its exterior features a rippling effect that mirrors the striated limestone outcroppings and formations that can be seen throughout the Great Lakes, according to architect Jeanne Gang. McHugh marshaled its creativity, experience and problem-solving skills to bring this groundbreaking design to fruition for longtime client Magellan Development.

Aqua posed other challenges as well, from the five types of glass in its window systems, its massive size and pedestal, and its multiple uses to its tricky site conditions, including more than 1,100 linear feet of Chicago's infamous underground freight tunnels. Yet by using its innovative "design-build lite" approach, providing design-build services for structural and MEP work, McHugh streamlined construction to keep an aggressive schedule and ensure on time completion.


  • 2012 Grand Award, American Council of Engineering Companies
  • 2011 Best Residential High-Rise Development, International Property Award and Americas Property Award 
  • Prix d’Excellence Award, FIABCI (International Real Estate Federation) 
  • Distinguished Building Award. AIA Chicago
  • Property Excellence Award, Chicagoland Apartment Association
  • Community Amenities Award, Chicagoland Apartment Association
  • Best Large Structure Award, Structural Engineers Association of Illinois
  • Emporis International Skyscraper of the Year, 2009
  • The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, American Architecture Awards


225 N Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA

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Construction Type

Concrete, Residential




  • 2.3 million square feet, 82 stories

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