Designs have been released for a new Dining Commons and Student Residence for the University of Chicago by Studio Gang with Mortenson Construction. The pair of new facilities will replace the current Pierce Tower and Dining Commons and provide accommodation for approximately 800 undergraduates as part of the university’s traditional House System.
This system sees undergraduates living alongside advanced graduate students and faculty members in small communities with the new Dining Commons arranged so that the Houses can eat together as a family-style unit. Karen Warren Coleman, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services confirms: “The design of the new residence hall reflects how students want to live when they come to UChicago - to have their school, work, home, and recreational lives knitted together for a full College experience.”
When completed in 2016, the Residence Hall will be organised in 8 houses of around 100 students each centred on a 3-storey lounge and a series of private units for third- and fourth-year students keen to live a more independent lifestyle. These private rooms will each benefit from their own kitchen facilities but residents are still encouraged to join others in their 'House' in the Dining Commons.
Those eating in the Dining Commons will be able to enjoy scenic views across new green spaces landscaped by Studio Gang including a number of green courtyards. These can also be viewed from the top-floor reading room and supporting spaces such as retail units, offices, multi-use rooms and classrooms. LEED Gold Certification is being targeted for the scheme.
John W. Boyer, Dean of the College, commented: “High-quality collegiate housing, located centrally on the campus, is an enormous asset in supporting the educational goals of the faculty, in developing active and stimulating learning communities among our students, and in encouraging patterns of lifelong friendships among our alumni.”