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Architect DS+R reveals updated design for University of Chicago’s Rubenstein Forum

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Revisions have been made to the tower’s massing and its glass and zinc exterior

Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Nearly one year after the University of Chicago publicly unveiled the preliminary renderings of its upcoming David M. Rubenstein Forum, the school has taken the wraps off of a freshly revised design by New-York based architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). Described as the new hub for “intellectual collaboration and exchange” for the U of C’s Hyde Park campus, the modern building will consist of vertically arranged meeting and event spaces that will host future lectures, workshops, and other academic symposia.

The refined exterior now features a more uniform and brightly colored cladding of zinc and glass and a revised massing to better illustrate the different “neighborhoods” stacked within the eight-story tower. According to UChicago News, the ground floor includes a lobby and a restaurant connected to a large multipurpose room that can accommodate 600 people. This level is topped by a 285-seat auditorium and additional formal and informal meeting areas. The highest level contains a 75-occupant space with views of Hyde Park, Lake Michigan, and Chicago’s skyline.

May, 2016.
DS+R
May, 2017.
DS+R

The project is slated for the southeast corner of Woodlawn Avenue and 60th Street—a space previously occupied by the midcentury Charles Stewart Mott building—and will be accompanied by new landscaping and a space for outdoor events. The Rubenstein Forum will be architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s first project in the Windy City. The internationally recognized design firm was responsible for Manhattan’s High Line and was among the finalists competing to design the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.