Chicago Architect Wins MacArthur Grant

The MacArthur Foundation has awarded 850 grants over the last 30 years

By Lacey McCraney
|  Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011  |  Updated 7:25 AM CDT
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The woman who masterminded one of the tallest buildings downtown just got rewarded for her efforts.

Jeanne Gang, 47, is one of 22 recipients of the Genius Grant awarded by the MacArthur Foundation. The $500,000 fellowships were announced Tuesday by the Chicago-based group.

Gang designed Aqua, an 82-story tower near Columbus and Wacker and the Media Production Center of Columbia College Chicago at 16th and State streets. Her firm, Studio Gang, puts a focus on green building and sustainable design.

The MacArthur Foundation cited Gang's designs for challenging "the aesthetic and technical possibilities of the art form." It has awarded 850 genius grants since 1981.

Recipients are allowed to use the money as they see fit. They will receive the money over the next five years.

Gang says she plans to come up with a plan on how to spend the money and will stick to it.

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