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Project Summary

The University needed to accommodate the growth of the School of Professional Studies (SPS) within three existing floors of the 1926 James Gamble Rogers designed building. Not only did the floors require flexible and larger classrooms but also upgraded mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, fire alarm, and tele-data communications systems in order to meet the current education and building code requirements.

Two key design functions need to be implemented when renovating and upgrading the floors. First, the SPS needs to have a large gathering area that can house career expos, fundraising events, over 100 students in lecture style format or convert to three modestly-sized classrooms. Secondly, all classrooms need flexibility to have lecture, seminar and active learning style environments. New upgrades on the 6th and 8th floors were done to support the University administrative staff. An open floor was developed for the 6th floor to create a new flexible and spacious work environment along with new detailing that matched the existing historic woodwork. Additionally, new office finishes and a main elevator lobby with a custom reception desk, student kiosk and wood feature walls were installed on the 8th floor to create an inviting and modern appearance. Notable renovations included replacing all windows with energy efficient substitutes that match the original historic design, installing energy efficient lighting and turning an underused storage room into a unisex bathroom. The renovated three floors provide 11 additional active learning classroom environments with upgraded audio-visual technology, electrical systems, windows, fire suppression and HVAC systems.

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Location

Chicago, Illinois

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Design Vignette

New features such as upgraded audio-visual technology, flexible furniture, offices and classrooms support SPS’ growth while delivering innovative active learning environments. These flexible environments give the University spaces that can be readily adapted for a variety of functions and users both internally and externally.