Architect: Flad Architects
Owner: Northwestern University
Contractor: Walsh Construction
At the intersection of research and education, this large new university research building on the site of a former library is the result of creative architectural design and engineering. While the university needed additional research space, existing buildings occupied some of the best sites for this type of development. Since the best location for the new research building was a popular, but small and outdated, library near residence halls, classroom buildings and other research buildings, the solution was to insert the library into the second floor of the new research facility. The new building envelopes the foundation and superstructure of the old library. The glass north façade of the new building overlooks a new research quad and provides an open space view for the library and lobby. To the east, the fifth floor is terraced looking to Lake Michigan. By embracing the diverse research and library programs in a combined space, the building encourages interaction and has become a vibrant active place for students and faculty.
Jury Comments: “It is a handsome building. The interior is smartly organized, with three very disparate program pieces – public space, the library and engineering labs. Using the space between the old and new structure was a very creative solution. The interior and exterior detailing is consistent and works well together. The restraint shown in the limited palette of materials is appreciated.”