The Conservation Center

Photo: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing

Chicago, IL

Completed 2012

The Conservation Center

Cultural, Office

25,000 sf


Located in a former warehouse in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, the Conservation Center is designed to best facilitate the important work of restoring and preserving art.

Individual workspaces for conservators are designed to be as functional and user-friendly as possible by accommodating the specific tools and technologies required by each medium. Furniture and additional finishes enhance the raw beauty of the existing space—particularly its 16-foot ceilings and arched windows, which provide excellent natural light for detailed restoration tasks and contribute to a pleasant working environment.

A geothermal HVAC system controls temperature and humidity throughout the facility, which includes a large-scale photography room for UV analysis of damaged works; a washing station, wet cleaning room, and several humidification stations for restoring works on paper; and a contained triage room for the biological reparation of items such as rare books, textiles, and frames.

Photo: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing

Photo: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing

Photo: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing