University of Chicago
Educational, Residential, Office
Targeting LEED Gold
The Campus North Residential Commons offers the kinds of social spaces and experiences that enhance campus and academic life for today’s undergraduates.
The full-block site is designed as a new portal to campus, opening up the University to the greater Hyde Park community, while also encouraging interactions and exchange among students of different ages and backgrounds.
Campus North features a mix of student residences, dining options, amenities, retail, and outdoor green spaces. The location and placement of the structures create a new “front door” for the University, strengthening connections between the campus and nearby communities.
The design situates three slender bar buildings in an urban fabric of plazas, gardens, walkways, and courtyards that together form inviting, public and semi-private outdoor spaces for students and neighbors.
The building is scaled to its context, with the highest structure completing the urban edge of busy 55th Street, while nearby structures are more attuned to the residential neighborhood along University Avenue. Pre-cast concrete panels are used to clad the building, a contemporary facade informed by the University’s neo-Gothic tradition.
Enhancing the University’s House system, which encourages interaction and collaboration between students of different years to support social and academic success, the buildings are organized around House hubs, three-story communal spaces that are designed to feel comfortable and homey.
Each hub offers distinct spaces for studying, cooking, and relaxing in small groups or individually, while also enabling all House members to assemble together to discuss household chores and energy use and to plan group activities or study sessions.
All eight Houses share communal spaces such as the top-floor Reading Room, music rehearsal rooms, outdoor courtyards, and spaces for studying and gathering, creating additional opportunities for relationship building among students.
A signature element of Campus North, the House hubs build on the University’s tradition of Residential Colleges, bringing together groups of 100 students. The House hubs nurture lifelong friendships and promote the constant exchange of ideas that is at the core of the University’s culture and educational mission.
David Mason & Associates, civil engineering
Hanbury, associate architect
Hood Design Studio, landscape concept designer
Jenkins & Huntington, elevator consultant
Jensen Hughes, code consultant
Lightswitch Architectural, lighting
Magnusson Klemencic Associates, structural engineering
Mortenson Construction, design builder
Ricca Design Studios, food service consultant
Terry Guen Design Associates, landscape architect
Threshold Acoustics, acoustics
Transsolar, sustainability consultant