ChiDesign Center for Architecture, Design and Education. 2015

Client: Chicago Architecture Foundation

The ChiDesign Center builds on Chicago’s legacy of tall buildings by providing a vertical solution that lives in harmony with the surrounding context. The parti diagram is structured around two connected parts; the tower and the podium.  Equally accessible from the street is the shared public program housed within the podium.   The gymnatorium contains two large pivot doors which allow the space to be adapted to the specific needs of the Allied Arts High School and the CAF Headquarters. Tour staging has two options: groups can meet on the ground level or convene at the second level podium to take advantage of city views.  Public streets and alleys are activated with retail enhancing the sidewalk experience.  The arrangement of vertically interlocked programmed space promotes a visual connection between users.  Visitors and students will be able to experience dynamic spatial relationships in the two story exhibit spaces that will also have windows to the Chicago skyline.  The idea of visual connection inspired the design of the building while providing a playful place to learn in a shared environment.