Housed in several buildings in a three-block area of Chicago’s Loop, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has long lacked a central focus point for the school and its students. This 40,000 SF renovation provides a student center, a “home base” for the institute’s diverse student body, faculty, and staff.
The LeRoy Neiman student center occupies the first two floors of the Sharp Building, a historic Chicago brick tower designed by Holabird and Roche. The two levels are connected by an open, sculptural stair that provides circulation between the main area and the café. The other floors house the school library, administration offices, and classrooms. The facility is fully equipped with high-end audiovisual technology, providing opportunities for student interactions and presentations. The 1,000 SF student gallery provides the school with a street-level presence and includes a video wall for high-tech visual art.