Progressive transformation on Chicago campus

Wednesday 21 Apr 2010

OWP/P Cannon Design creates new space for Adler School of Professional Psychology

In Chicago, the 58-year-old Adler School of Professional Psychology had outgrown its existing campus. With an enrollment that had nearly tripled over the past six years, the graduate school needed more space and this summer will move into an innovative new space that doubles the size of the current campus.

Designed by Chicago firm OWP/P Cannon Design, the new campus located in the Central Loop aims for a design that is aesthetically striking, academically progressive and environmentally responsible. The increased space is necessary to accommodate the School’s burgeoning enrollment of 900 students.

The architects sought to reflect the school’s values in the design: progressive yet pragmatic, high-tech yet holistic, intellectually rigorous yet compassionate.In the fall, students welcomed to back to campus with spaces that are flooded by warm, natural light and feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The new campus will be connected by multi-floor open atriums that create a town square feel and serve as hubs to a mix of social, work, and academic areas. Students are the priority in the new space, with the perimeter reserved for classrooms and work areas, while faculty and administrative offices will be located in the interior. With their skyline views, the student work areas are intended to inspire students to look out across the city, encourage inquiry and prompt creativity.

OWP/P Cannon’s mixed-space floor plan was developed to promote interactive learning, to foster immersion and collaboration and to cultivate a strong sense of community by allowing easy movement between floors and between faculty, staff, and student spaces.

The School will be located at17 N. Dearborn St., in a historic building in the heart of Chicago’s Loop and within walking distance of City Hall, Millennium Park, museums, theaters, the commerce district – and the current campus. The location also is has access to public transportation and expressways. The Adler School will occupy more than 100,000 square feet on the 15th and 16th floors, with a floor plan that extends the full length of the building, from Dearborn to State streets.

The new campus will provide the school’s learning community with a much more cohesive space as well as a visually striking street-level entrance that will give the school a more prominent physical presence.

The new campus doubles the current classroom and computing spaces and includes high-tech smart boards. Located in the southeast corner of the new campus with prime views of the city, the 60-seat library is twice the size of the current library space, and will include areas for individual, small-group and larger collaborative efforts. Adjacent to the library, a computer teaching lab will be equipped with new computer work stations.

The new campus will also be green, designed to LEED silver standards under the sustainable building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The many green aspects of the new campus include: recycling of old materials removed during demolition; installation of carpeting made of 100-percent post-consumer material; interior glass walls, allowing light to filter into the interior. Classroom lights also will automatically dim when adequate sunlight is available.

Jennifer Potash
News Editor

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