UChicago unveils new residential complex
Elegant, welcoming and inspiring count among terms used to describe the University of Chicago’s brand-new Campus North Residential Commons and adjacent dining commons designed to enhance student living by Jeanne Gang / Studio Gang Architects.
“This is a beautiful and inspiring building,” university President Robert Zimmer said of the 400,000-square-foot campus addition. “Jeanne Gang and her colleagues have made an outstanding contribution to our campus, to architecture designed to connect individuals and build communities, and to the relationship of our campus to its surroundings.”
The Campus North structure can house 800 undergraduates and comprises the Frank and Laura Baker Dining Commons along with classrooms, offices, outdoor space and retail. Freshmen and sophomores reside in single and double rooms, while third- and fourth-year students can enjoy the independence of apartment living with private kitchens and baths.
The complex’s eight individual units include an atrium-style common area, living space for faculty serving as residence directors, courtyards, music rooms and top-floor reading and multipurpose areas with spacious views of the city.
“This facility creates an elegant and welcoming new home for students and an important resource for our community,” John Boyer, dean of the college, said. “The college is stronger when students can live and learn in communities that foster curiosity and intellectual conversations and serve as foundations for lifelong friendships.”
The building’s striking white exterior creates a gentle arc with three towers of different heights angled to optimize energy efficiency, while the overall design incorporates environmental sustainability, maximizing natural light and fresh air and including a rooftop rainwater conservation system.
Gang’s architecture practice is based both locally and in New York.