HYDE PARK — The University of Chicago on Wednesday unveiled initial renderings of a new academic conference center designed by the architects behind the High Line in New York City.
For the Rubenstein Forum, Diller Scofidio + Renfro have designed a 90,000-square-foot building marked by a 165-foot tower that includes a 285-seat auditorium with views of the campus and the Midway Plaisance.
The building will be built on a vacant lot and where the Mott Building is currently being demolished on 60th Street between Kimbark and Woodlawn avenues.
The design includes a two-story base that will include a restaurant and large meeting spaces and a large tower on the western edge of the building.
Elizabeth Diller, one of the founders of the architecture firm behind the design, said in an announcement of the design that the tower is a meant to be a stack of “neighborhoods” connecting formal and informal spaces.
“The lower floors of the Rubenstein Forum are porous and dynamic with connections to the campus and the community in all directions,” Diller said. “As one climbs the building, there is a progressive retreat from the everyday to more contemplative spaces with dramatic views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.”
The middle of the tower includes the 285-seat auditorium, providing the space for academic conferences that the university said it lacked enough space for when announcing the project in 2014 after a major gift from David Rubenstein, founder of the Carlyle Group and an alumni and trustee of the university.
The tower will be topped with a multi-use space with views of the lake tentatively called the Lake View Room for receptions and symposiums.
The university is expected to provide more details about the construction schedule and other details of the project at a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Akarama Community Service Center, 6220 S. Ingleside Ave.
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