Aqua Tower Gets Proggy from PETA for Being Bird Friendly

chicago studio gang high rise construction bird friendly exterior photo

Edward Lifson

PETA isn't just worried about fur; they care about birds, too, and just gave a PETA "Proggy" award to Studio Gang for the bird-friendly features on its Aqua Tower.

chicago studio gang high rise construction bird friendly exterior photo 2

Edward Lifson at Hello Beautiful

PETA says:

Studio Gang Architects has earned a PETA Proggy award for using bird-deflecting elements in the Aqua Tower residential building and hotel. By including an undulating exterior and specifying the use of fritted glass--which is etched with gray marks to make it easier for birds to see--the company has created a design that will help prevent birds from flying into windows. PETA's Proggy Awards ("Proggy" is for "progress") recognize animal-friendly achievements in commerce and culture.

Quoting another well-known Chicago Architect, PETA Pres sez:

"The American architect Louis Sullivan coined the phrase 'form follows function,'" says Newkirk. "In the Aqua Tower, form follows compassion."

Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune notes that this isn't surprising.


Gang's sensitivity to birds comes as no surprise. One of her most acclaimed designs, still unbuilt, is for the Ford Calumet Environmental Center . The project, to be located in an industrial area on Chicago's Far South Side, is to be constructed of recycled materials, like the twigs of a bird's nest.

chicago studio gang high rise construction bird friendly radiator fin photo

I still have problems with the way the undulating balconies are going to be an energy leak of monstrous proportions, radiator fins that heat Chicago all winter (I think I would see in the picture if they used European style thermal breaks), but I do like the idea that an architect would actually care about being bird-friendly. Congratulations to Studio Gang, and to PETA for doing something absolutely straightforward that does not involve naked women.

From Blair Kaimin's Cityscapes

More Studio Gang:
Big Steps in Building: Get Rid Of Those Radiator Fins

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