Credit: Courtesy of University of Chicago, Photo by Charlie Mayer

University of Chicago, Chicago Innovation Exchange

BBB has adaptively reused an early twentieth century landmark theater in the heart of Hyde Park to create a home for the Chicago Innovation Exchange — a central gathering place for Chicago’s innovation ecosystem and a catalyst in the ongoing renaissance of 53rd street.

The CIE is a “town square” of innovation where members from different University departments and programs, University affiliates, and South Side entrepreneurs can collaborate and share experiences. The design with contemporary materials and colors and clean industrial forms, by BBB with Built Form as Executive Architects, reflects the spirit of innovation. The reused space has a personality impossible to achieve in a new building—massive brick walls contrast with glass conference rooms and colorful work environments. BBB’s multi-disciplinary team integrated interior design, branding and environmental graphics with the architecture. At the heart of the space, a dramatic sky-lit gallery formed out of an old air-shaft fills the center of the building with natural light. “Neighborhoods” within the building serve diverse activities and evolving forms of collaboration. Transparency between various spaces reinforces connectivity. Phase 2 of the CIE, which opened in a second building across the street in Fall 2015, includes co-working spaces and a Fab Lab for rapid prototyping.

 

Client

University of Chicago

Location

Chicago, IL

Size

34,000 SF

Completed

Phase 1 2014, Phase 2 2015

People

AIA, AICP
Partner, Director of Planning & Urban Design
AIA, LEED AP
Associate Partner
AIA, LEED AP
Senior Associate
Senior Associate, Director of Graphic Design