COLUMBIA COLLEGE 618
       
     
 Façade, night view
       
     
 South Michigan Avenue street wall
       
     
 Connecting staircase  
       
     
 Connecting staircase
       
     
 Ground floor lobby
       
     
 Learning Center
       
     
 Ceiling system, detail
       
     
 New egress and connecting staircase
       
     
 Façade, detail
       
     
 Bird frit pattern, detail
       
     
 Bird frit pattern, detail
       
     
 View of original façade
       
     
 Façade system
       
     
 Façade system, details   
       
     
COLUMBIA COLLEGE 618
       
     
COLUMBIA COLLEGE 618

Chicago, IL

Client
Columbia College

Recognition
Chicago AIA Interiors Award, 2011

Role
Design Principal in Charge
Gensler

Photography by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing

Columbia College, one of the nation’s preeminent art schools, owns an impressive collection of buildings in Chicago's South Loop. This low-rise tower is located across from Millennium Park and is part of the cliff wall that forms the Historical Michigan Avenue District. William Zimmerman designed the building in 1913 with a terra cotta facade. When IBM bought the building in the 1950's, the original facade was replaced with a modernist aluminum curtain wall system. Our project was a full nine-story restoration with new systems and infrastructure to support classrooms, offices, archives, and a learning center at the pedestrian level. The design provides a state-of-the-art academic building while maintaining a relationship to the historical context of Michigan Avenue. Using a digital ceramic printing process, we printed an image of the original terracotta facade onto a new, energy efficient curtain wall system. This allowed us to expose the building's past while also giving it a contemporary face.

 Façade, night view
       
     

Façade, night view

 South Michigan Avenue street wall
       
     

South Michigan Avenue street wall

 Connecting staircase  
       
     

Connecting staircase
 

 Connecting staircase
       
     

Connecting staircase

 Ground floor lobby
       
     

Ground floor lobby

 Learning Center
       
     

Learning Center

 Ceiling system, detail
       
     

Ceiling system, detail

 New egress and connecting staircase
       
     

New egress and connecting staircase

 Façade, detail
       
     

Façade, detail

 Bird frit pattern, detail
       
     

Bird frit pattern, detail

 Bird frit pattern, detail
       
     

Bird frit pattern, detail

 View of original façade
       
     

View of original façade

 Façade system
       
     

Façade system

 Façade system, details   
       
     

Façade system, details