Jeanne Gang, 1964

  • Jeanne-Gang-WWP

Woman Category: ArtsWoman Tags: Architect and Chicago Metro Area Women

  • HerStory

    A pioneering and award-winning architect, the founder and leader of Studio Gang.

    Jeanne Gang was born and raised in Belvidere, Illinois. As a child, she traveled with her father, who designed roads and bridges, to see big bridges and observe how they merged with the landscape. At age 22, after earning a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois, she continued her studying abroad, first at the ETH Swiss Federal University of Technical Studies in Zurich, Switzerland, and then at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles in Versailles, France. Returning to the US, she enrolled at Harvard Graduate School of Design, from which she graduated with Distinction. At age 29, she moved to Rotterdam, Netherlands, for a few years to work with the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. There she met her future husband.
    At 33, she established Studio Gang for architecture and urban design in Chicago. Not long after, the practice branched out to NYC, San Francisco, and Paris, working on projects all over the world.
    In her work, she incorporates individuals, communities, and environments. She explores the impact of the design on its surroundings while using ecology materials, and new technologies, foresaw the effect it will have on society. Her projects located all over the world and range from residential towers to cultural centers. Among them are the Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois, the Aqua Tower in Chicago, the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Q Residences in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the One Delisle in Toronto, Canada.

    “Most people think architects design buildings and cities. What we really design are relationships – because cities are about people – they are places where people come together for all kinds of exchange”

    “Most people think architects design buildings and cities. What we really design are relationships – because cities are about people – they are places where people come together for all kinds of exchange”


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • She wrote three books on architecture.
    • When she was awarded the MacArthur “genius grant” Fellowship, she became the second female architect to receive the prize.
    • In 2018, she was elected the lifetime honor of International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
    • She is a bird lover, making sure her skyscrapers’ designs are safe for them.
    • Her husband is in charge of the business side of Studio Gang, allowing her to focus on creativity.
    • In 2009, when Aqua tower in Chicago was completed, it became the tallest building in the world designed by a woman.
    • The Vista tower will be completed in Chicago in 2020 to become the third tallest building in Chicago. Vista and Aqua will be the title of the first and second tallest buildings in the world designed by a woman.
    • She is serving as a visiting studio critic and as a professor in various institutes.
  • More About Her Legacy

    * The Arts and Letters Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006)
    * Woman Architect of the Year by the Architectural Review (2016)
    * The Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award (2017)

  • Watch and Learn More

  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Building communities through architecture: Jeanne Gang at TEDxMidwest

    MacArthur Prize winning architect, Jeanne Gang enlightens the audience as to the significant role that architecture plays in building communities. From Aqua (an elegant Chicago Skyscaper) to Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, Gang's architectural creations have become an integral part of the lives of the people who experience them each day.

    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

  • Gang in 2016. Photo credit - Wikipedia

  • Citations and Additional References:
    Studio Gang website.
    Pin-Up Magazine website.
    Wikipedia page.