7. Jeanne Gang
Jeanne Gang was born in Belvidere, Illinois, in 1964. Gang heads the Studio Gang Architects, which is a design and architecture firm with branches in New York and Chicago. One of the leading artists and designers of our time, Gang is famed for many architectural projects like the WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, Nature Boardwalk at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Arcus Center for Social Leadership at Kalamazoo. However, Gang’s most iconic work is Agua. This is a mixed-use residential skyscraper of 82 stories found in downtown Chicago with striking undulating balconies that mimic the striated limestone features of the Great Lakes. Aqua was Gang’s first skyscraper and, at the time, the largest project ever awarded to an American firm headed by a woman. In 2009, Aqua was shortlisted for the International Highrise Award and won the Emporis Skyscraper Award for tower of the year.