The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
An innovative model for college high-rise residence halls
This student housing and dining complex for 811 residents, comprising eight 100-student houses, was programmed and designed to create a profound sense of community while establishing a ground-breaking model for high-rise student living. It occupies a site on the south edge of the campus and forms a distinctive anchor as the University meets its residential neighborhood.
Two key challenges were to accommodate this large program on the site, and to express an image appropriate to the context that includes works by Mies and Saarinen, and the adjacent collegiate Gothic residence hall. The innovative design approach stacks pairs of houses, with each house centered on its own two-story community “living room.”
- Each house has a separate entry and shared amenities such as study spaces, lounges, and a kitchenette. Adjunct academic space is incorporated into each house to promote the overlap between living and learning.
- Faculty apartments are integrated into the student residential corridors to encourage interaction.
- The exterior, clad with the nation’s largest limestone rain-screen envelope, achieves variety by expressing its internal program components. This creates unique house identities and a sense of “home” for students.
- The building massing steps down to the south from nine stories to five, where smaller-scale elements such as faculty residences and stoops help transition to the residential scale of its neighbors.