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Mid-Century University of Chicago Building Cleared for New Conference Center

Its replacement will come from New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro

With DePaul University knocking down its 1963 McGaw Hall for its new music school, University of Chicago is keen to get in on the mid-century destruction action as it dismantles the 1959 Charles Stewart Mott building designed by Schmidt, Garden & Erikson. Built originally as a three-story industrial research facility, the modernist Mott building was later converted to administrative offices.

In its place, situated along the southern edge of Hyde Park’s green Midway Plaisance, will rise the Rubenstein Forum — a new multi-purpose complex designed by New York-based architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). Though DS+R was named among seven finalists to potentially design the Obama Presidential Center, the U of C project will represent the firm’s Windy City debut.

With the old building all but flattened, the university expects to begin construction on the conference center later this year and targets a completion date of 2018, reports the Chicago Maroon. Renderings of the Rubenstein Forum by DS+R will be made publicly available in the coming weeks.

The project is the latest addition to the University of Chicago to be penned by a high-profile architecture firm. It joins the likes of JAHN’s dome-shaped Mansueto Library and a pair of recently topped-out high-rise dormitories from Studio Gang.