University of Illinois at Chicago

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Grant Hall Renovation

““It's apparent that the brighter and more user-friendly building has significantly enhanced the overall student experience."”

—Boyd Black, Former Director of Project Management Services

Description

Outmoded, but with value and aesthetic worth preserving, Grant Hall was one of UIC's original classroom buildings, designed in the 1960s by a notable Chicago architect. SmithGroupJJR’s archetype renovation – to transition the campus into the 21st century while maintaining a mid-century modern aesthetic – used Grant as the prototype, the first of nine similar classroom buildings to undergo renewal.

Now home to the Sandi Port Errant Language and Culture Learning Center, the building has been completely revitalized and reprogrammed. Learning environments, foreign language labs and a writing center built with state-of-the-art technology infrastructure all allow for distance-learning uses, while a “language oasis” suite offers real-time foreign television broadcasts. The user-friendly planning includes collaboration spaces that enhance both student and instructor experience for culturally diverse programs.

Perhaps most important, the revamped skin and glazing deliver natural daylight and exterior views to 99 percent of regularly occupied spaces, one of the many prototypical features to be incorporated into future renovations.

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Grant Hall is the first building in the U of I system to utilize geothermal heating and cooling.