The Academic and Residential Complex is a new mixed-use building at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The project is composed of two volumes: an angular, ten-story residence tower and a curvilinear, two-story academic structure, connected physically on two levels and visually through a distinctive façade of glazed and concrete components. The Academic and Residential Complex serves as a bridge between UIC’s architecturally significant past and its future. The building was designed with a ‘nod to Walter Netsch’ (the original architect of the campus), with the façade and interior designs echoing the geometric movement expressed in Netsch’s famous ‘field theory’ and distinctive architecture.
The 146,000 square-foot residential tower houses 554 students in traditional and semi-suite units. Also included in the residential program are two faculty-in-residence apartments. Shared amenities include study and social lounges on each floor, a fitness center, laundry rooms, and a ground floor, student-operated Starbucks. The top floor features a sky lounge with commanding views of Chicago’s iconic skyline, perfect for special events, residential life programming, and quiet study. The 53,200 square-foot academic classroom building has large tiered collaborative classrooms arranged in a turn-to-team configuration, two 72-seat active learning classrooms, and two 32-seat flexible classrooms. Break-out spaces are provided throughout the building to encourage collaboration amongst students and help foster faculty-student interactions.
Sustainability was a key design driver from the start of the project. The building is sited in response to optimal solar orientation to mitigate heat gain. Extensive daylight studies with regard to the classrooms helped inform the design of folded aluminum fins along the exterior of the building to allow for maximum natural light to penetrate the learning spaces, while blocking direct glare. The project is certified LEED Gold.
Credits: - Pepper Construction - Contractor - Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers - Structural Consultant - University of Illinois at Chicago - Client - Elara Energy Services - MEP Consultant - Site Design Group - Landscape Architect - American Campus Communities - Client