Award level: Award
Project name: Center for Economics, University of Chicago
Project location: Chicago, Illinois
Firm name: Ann Beha Architects with Gensler
Jury comments: This project transforms an historic seminary into a university center for academic programs, collaboration, and research. The design preserves and repurposes significant existing spaces while pedestrianizing an alley and city street to knit the new complex into the university and neighborhood. New below-grade construction introduces a large classroom and gathering areas that are naturally lit by clerestories without adding to the footprint–a decision at the cornerstone of the overall sustainability strategy. A new central stair and circulation core, located in the former alley, unify separate wings and connect six floors of faculty and student programs. Original elements, including plaster, paneling, and stained glass were restored. It’s not an architectural gem, but accomplishes its goals in a handsome, mature fashion.
Client: University of Chicago
Contractor: Turner Construction
Consultants: Thornton Tomasetti; dbHMS; OLIN; Terra Engineering; Schuler Shook; Kirkegaard; Shen Milsom & Wilke; Burnham / The Code Group; Building Conservation Associates; Construction Cost Systems