The research that takes place here extends from the smallest scale possible to the largest imaginable: from molecular manipulation to expanding our understanding of the universe. It’s a nexus for transformative discovery.
HOK’s team designed the Center to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among University of Chicago researchers working across the fields of chemical, electrical, mechanical and biological engineering as well as the traditional materials and physical sciences.
Each floor is considered a neighborhood, with a home base at the north end providing the largest gathering spaces. Five above-grade floors accommodate lab types ranging from optics to chemistry. Two of the seven floors are below grade, enabling the university to isolate highly specialized labs, including the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility cleanroom and a high bay assembly lab, from vibration and electromagnetic interference.
Planned interaction spaces include a conference facility, pre- and post-event space, a café and corner collaboration areas. On the top floor, an open balcony provides a view of Chicago’s skyline.
The design links people to nature and light. James Carpenter Design Associates collaborated as a consultant to HOK in the creation of the dynamic building enclosure. Each facade is uniquely responsive to the site and its public realm, harnessing light as an organizing principle for the building’s performance and the human experience.