On Wednesday, Columbia College Chicago hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new $50 million student center in the heart of its South Loop campus. The five-story, 114,000-square-foot complex is only the second purpose-built structure in the school’s 129-year history and its first dedicated, ground-up student center.
The layout resembles an “atrium turned inside-out,” Architect Scott Hurst of Gensler Chicago tells Curbed. “The multistory student lounges, galleries, and study spaces are pushed to the perimeter, expressing the energy and creativity found within the space outward to the surrounding city and campus.”
The glassy structure replaced a vacant lot at the northwest corner of Wabash Avenue and 8th Street and broke ground last spring. The project aims to embrace Columbia’s creative curriculum and includes visual arts exhibit spaces, dance studios, study areas, maker labs, dining facilities, a fitness center, and a pair of outdoor terraces.