While the University of Chicago’s upcoming Rubenstein Forum conference center and proposed high-rise hotel are still on the drawing board at this time, the school has started work on a major adaptive reuse project at its Hyde Park campus. The plan will see a mid-century modern building located across from the Midway Plaisance at 60th Street and Kimbark Avenue converted into the Keller Center—a new home for the U of C’s Harris School of Public Policy.
Designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone in 1962, the existing 120,000-square-foot structure has been used by the school for a variety of purposes over the years and was most recently known as the New Graduate Residence Hall. While much of Stone’s original design remains intact, the addition of new glass at key points of the roof and limestone facade will bring natural light to the structure’s revised interior program.
The fully updated building will feature new classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, numerous glass-walled meeting rooms, lounges, reception areas, and a central four-story atrium envisioned as a collaboration space. The rooftop addition of a glassy partial fourth-floor will include space for an executive education suite, board room, and green roof with an outdoor terrace.
Overseen by Chicago architect Farr Associates and interior consultant Woodhouse Tinucci, the project aims to recycle and incorporate the building’s old wooden dorm room doors into its design and convert some of the leftover limestone cladding into a new interior accent wall. Additional sustainability features include rooftop photovoltaic cells and rainwater harvesting. New landscaping will come from Chicago-based Site Design Group.
Work on the Keller Center officially began last month. Led by Mortenson Construction, the conversion will allow the Harris School of Public Policy to essentially double in size in the coming years. The new University of Chicago facility is expected to open in September of 2018.
- The Keller Center: Reimagining a Modern Masterpiece [University of Chicago]
- Previous Hyde Park coverage [Curbed Chicago]