Project Title

College of DuPage Naperville Regional Center

The efforts of Bailey Edward enabled the College to complete this building within the projected budget and on time for the beginning of our Spring semester. The renovated building has been well received by administration, faculty, and students. The College of DuPage will confidently consider utilizing the services of Bailey Edward for future campus projects. — Client Project Manager


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Project Summary

As a major community college in the Chicago region, the College of DuPage has re-energized their community commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, and cultural experiences by revitalizing their main campus with a $346 million investment. With this focus on executing their master plan, the campus became more relevant on multiple levels – interpersonal, academic, civic, cultural and economic. However, the satellite teaching centers, such as the Naperville Center built in 1990, no longer supported the school’s mission, vision and values.

With the limited remainder of the master plan budget, $4.4 million, Bailey Edward was hired to re-envision the Naperville Center to foster a unique learning environment, create community awareness and extend the mission of the main campus. Similar to the College’s mission to provide accessible, affordable and comprehensive education, the resulting design is open and welcoming, yet transformative, advancing educational opportunities and providing desired community resources in a renewed state of the art, energy efficient facility. Using a Construction Management project delivery method, the project was delivered for $3.9 million in 12 months’ time providing new classrooms, biology teaching laboratories, computer laboratories, learning centers, tutoring / testing facilities, administrative and faculty offices, student center (financial and counseling), and student lounge.

Advancing Education: Bailey Edward transformed the interiors with vibrant hues, expanded daylighting and views to the exterior to help increase focus and attention of students often attending classes around difficult work schedules. Throughout the interior space, bright accents of color and glazed openings stimulate creative thinking and draw the eye to multiple spaces from a single vantage point.

Computer-integrated classrooms were developed with centralized podium controls for audio/visual systems and lighting controls to facilitate flexible learning environments. Bailey Edward completely transformed the layout of the first floor to increase natural daylighting and capitalize views of collaborative spaces, student service areas and increased visibility to the learning commons. Throughout the space, the design uses color to highlight diverse learning environments from single user quiet nodes to small group collaborative spaces.

Increasing Energy Efficiency: To overcome the energy inefficiencies of the original 1990’s construction, the new design encapsulates all the exterior walls and structural frame in a new continuous insulating envelope, including a repositioned, cantilevered curtain wall glazing system to prevent thermal bridging to interior conditioned spaces. In addition, a new efficient central mechanical system with digital controls was installed on the roof to replace the existing multi-source system, and upgrades were made to the distributed ventilation elements providing heat at the first floor. These design solutions allowed for increased energy performance and the maximum reuse of existing ductwork while providing for much lower energy consumption. The Naperville Regional Center is LEED Certified.

Improving Community Identity: Prior to the renovation, the Naperville Regional Center lacked presence from the surrounding streets and could have easily been mistaken for a nondescript retail or restaurant building. To make the building recognizable, Bailey Edward manipulated color, materials and lighting to draw attention from 75th street throughout the day and night. A distinctive orange under the façade’s mill aluminum grating glows in the daylight. The subtle moiré effect created by the aluminum façade elements provides movement and interest to passers-by. An oversized College of DuPage logo sign gleams bright white during the day and brightly shines in the evening serving as a beacon for all students earning degrees, advancing their careers or seeking new resources.

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Naperville, Illinois


Design Vignette

Our firm fully re-imagined the College of DuPage’s Naperville Regional Center in a comprehensive manner. The existing building was energy inefficient and aesthetically mundane, elements the client considered detrimental to their facility’s success. The design creates a sense of consistency with the University identity; providing an open and accessible design that embraces an element of discovery throughout the building to embody the various processes of learning. The designs seeks an overall balance of exceeding energy efficiency requirements in a new high performance exterior cladding and providing visual interest to a bland facility by infusing shape, form, color, and texture throughout the design.

The original building was designed with walls consisting of exposed steel and concrete masonry units that acted as thermal bridges in and of themselves. To overcome this energy loss, the entire building was re-clad to thermal ties to the exterior. Higher energy performance came in the form of a robust air barrier covered with an insulation and finish system. However, the need for refining the appearance of the building through the wall system provided the opportunity to be innovative.

Initially desiring an integrated rain screen and solar shading as the final layer to the wall system, the design team seized the chance to have the material embody the sense of learning and its path of discovery by making it a metaphorical veil that the student walks through to find the bright revelatory colors of knowledge. The veil was to be transformative in its appearance, creating a sense of motion with textural changes from solid to open shifting with a person’s movement.

The design team sought something off-the-shelf that was lightweight, required no additional coatings and wouldn’t rust. Employing a ‘proof of concept’ process similar to that used by industrial designers, the team started with detailed 3D modeling, explored various materials, and ended with a physical mock-up.

The initial materials explored were perforated metals. Modeling was begun with the thought that only the spacing of the openings needed to be determined. However, looking at various options of perforation types and different percentages of openness with 3D animation studies proved that no perforated metal solution created a sense of movement or the perception of the ‘veiling’. It was just too flat, solid, and unchanging.
The team turned to a material used as lightweight industrial flooring for catwalks: aluminum grating. Aluminum is a finish that could evolve, oxidize, becoming slightly chalky, without the addition of finishes, and without developing rust. The off-the-shelf system still allowed experimentation with spacing, opening sizes and geometry to create the desired sense of movement. As a bonus, its thickness provided solar shading benefits that the perforated panel did not. Over 10 different options of size, spacing or repeat were explored.

The aluminum grating system was originally intended as a lightweight walking surface. By literally flipping convention, in this design it became a rain-screen, solar shading device and an ever-changing moiré pattern making the façade ‘move’ to the naked eye.