University of Chicago getting Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons ready for 2020-21

Is this rendering from U of C, the Woodlawn Commons is to the left.

A 16-story tower and a zig-zagging maze of a 7-story building comprise the new Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons. It will include, as you may have guessed, housing and dining facilities for University of Chicago students, as well as amenities and outdoor spaces.

The Woodlawn Commons is a joint development between the University and Capstone Development Partners. It is being built by Turner Construction, as is the David M. Rubenstein Forum going up one block east.

The design is by Boston’s Elkus Manfredi Architects. The firm’s CEO and founding Partner David Manfredi earned his masters degree here at U of C.

Here’s some uchicago news you can use to learn more (lots more) about Woodlawn Commons. The University expects to have it open for the 2020-2021 school year.

 

Checking out U. of C.’s David M. Rubenstein Forum in Woodlawn (corrected)

This will be the David M. Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago. ( DSRNY rendering)

We have a winner for Most Unique Construction Project in Chicago right now.

The David M. Rubenstein Forum is being built by the University of Chicago on its Hyde Park campus. **Most of the campus may be in Hyde Park, but this particular project is south of the Midway Plaisance, placing it in the Woodlawn neighborhood. Sorry, my mistake.** It’s part Jenga tower, part shipping container park. There’s a lot of concrete, a ton of glass, and when it’s finished, it will have lots of ways for U of C students to utilize it.

The school describes it, in part, this way:

The ground floor includes the main lobby and a restaurant, with stairs leading to the building’s largest multipurpose event space, capable of accommodating groups up to 600. Immediately above the base is a 285-seat auditorium. The top floor of the tower features a flat-floor multipurpose space, which can accommodate meetings of 75 and other events.

The Rubenstein Forum is a collaboration between design architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro out of NYC, and Chicago’s own Brininstool + Lynch. On the build is Turner Construction. I’m grateful to them for the Facebook photo of the tower cranes included in the photo gallery. (The bird joke is theirs, not mine.) I didn’t get down to Hyde Park when they were still in the air.

If you click on all those links I’ve provided above, not only will you find everything you need to know about the Rubenstein Forum, but you’ll also see a ton of great renderings, plus some stellar drone footage.

Stuff That’s Done: Harrison Hall at UIC

Harrison Hall, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

While this blog was taking intermittent breaks over the past couple years, Chicago construction has gone on without us. The nerve, right? Many of the projects I started covering from their outset have wrapped up, and though there may be too many to get to, this is my attempt to show you some or those final results. I couldn’t think of a fancier title to use. Stuff That’s Done will have to suffice for now. This is the first of what may or may not be a series.

I wandered past Harrison Hall on the UIC campus this week. Cool piece of architecture. I last checked on it in June 2018. It was designed by SCB and built by Pepper Construction.

**NOTE** Stuff That’s Done may sometimes refer to projects that aren’t completely “done,” but are open.

Harrison Hall glasses up the joint at UIC

UIC Harrison Hall June glass

Pepper Construction works on both the north-facing and south-facing facades of Harrison Hall at UIC.

Chalk up another milestone for Pepper Construction at UIC, where they’ve started putting windows on Harrison Hall. (This is neither the time nor place to argue that a university’s academic hall should be using Macs instead of installing Windows)

I don’t know why I didn’t make a “glass is in session” pun in the headline for this, but I more than made up for it with the Windows thing, dontcha think?

Anyway, topping out the concrete in late April and removing the tower crane last month are two other recent achievements Pepper can be proud of at Harrison Hall. Of course, the one that counts the most will be having the 151,000-square-foot, SCB-designed facility open for UIC students in the fall.

 

GEMS World Academy Upper School gets permission to complete its latest assignment

With a permit issued Wednesday, the GEMS World Academy Upper School has official permission to complete its 13-story building in Lakeshore East. That allows Power Construction to continue their progress on the bKL Architecture-designed facility. Students are expected to start using the Upper School in Winter 2019.

You can watch progress for yourself by following this link to the youtube construction cam; the cam is also accessible from bKL Archtecture’s GEMS World Academy Upper School page linked above.

Progress Update: Columbia College Student Center

It’s time to check in with Pepper Construction on their progress in the South Loop. That’s where they’re erecting the Gensler-designed Columbia College Student Center at 8th Street and Wabash Avenue. The 114,000-square-foot facility is slated for opening in 2019.

UIC’s Harrison Hall clads without glass

Harrison Hall at UIC

That’s not glass on Harrison Hall, but we’re clad to see it anyway.

There’s no glass on UIC’s Harrison Hall yet, but swing by the site these days and you’ll notice the exterior getting a new outfit. Pepper Construction is cladding the outer layer, just not with windows. And most impressively, they’re doing it without the tower crane, which is down from the site already. Just one more surprisingly-fast step in progress on the new academic & residential center.