If there’s one unifying theme running through Studio Gang Architects’ design for the new residence hall and dining commons at the University of Chicago, it’s “connection.”
Designed by renowned Chicago architect and MacArthur Fellowship (or “Genius Grant”) winner Jeanne Gang, the new Campus North development will provide an active and collaborative environment for the 800 students who will eventually be housed there, as well as a pedestrian-friendly “front door” to the northern corner of the university’s Hyde Park campus.
“We are excited to develop our design that focuses on creating vibrant student communities within the residence halls, connected to a series of new, active public green spaces and environments,” Gang says.
Based around the university’s unique house system, which groups undergraduate dorm residents into smaller clusters for social activities, the new residence hall will include eight houses of approximately 100 students each. Each house will be structured around a comfortable and homey three-story “hub,” where students can meet, study and relax.
Tables in the expansive dining commons will be similarly organized by house, allowing members of each community to eat their meals with friends while looking out over green courtyards. A shared reading room on the top floor of the dorm offers panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan and the surrounding neighborhoods. The new facility will also feature a small number of retail spaces, offices, multiuse rooms and classrooms.
“The design of the new residence hall reflects how students want to live when they come to the University of Chicago—to have their school, work, home and recreational lives knitted together for a full college experience,” says Karen Warren Coleman, vice president for campus life and student services.
Studio Gang Architects is partnering with Mortenson Construction on the project, which is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification when it is completed in 2016. For more information, visit studiogang.net.