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UIC cuts the ribbon on SCB-designed classroom building and residence hall

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The mixed-use building will house nearly 550 students in the coming months

Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the project as a “nod to Netsch,” the original architect of UIC’s campus.
Photo by Jenny Fontaine, courtesy UIC

After a year and half of construction, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s latest building is open for business at the corner of Harrison and Morgan streets. Officially dubbed the Academic and Residential Complex (formerly Harrison Hall), the $100 million structure is divided into two parts: a two-story academic building and a 10-story residence hall.

The mixed-use complex contains three large lecture spaces, four classrooms, several small group study rooms, a fitness center, laundry facility, and a top-floor “sky lounge” overlooking the Eisenhower Expressway and the Chicago skyline beyond. Students will begin moving into the building’s 548 beds in August.

Chicago-based architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz conceived the project as a “nod to Netsch,” the original architect of UIC’s 1960s-era campus. While the SCB design features materials and shapes that reference the surrounding brutalist architecture, it’s hard to ignore some similarities to Studio Gang’s recent University of Chicago residence hall.

Two more major UIC developments will eventually join the Academic and Residential Complex. Work continues on the new Engineering Innovation Building near Taylor and Morgan. The school recently selected OMA and KOO Architecture to design its upcoming $95 million Center of the Arts, slated for the corner of Halsted and Harrison.

UIC Creative and Digital Services
UIC Creative and Digital Services