Site prep and caisson work is now visible for a new five-story educational building at 900 W Taylor Street, located near the southern edge of The University of Illinois Chicago‘s main campus. Known as the UIC Computer Design Research and Learning Center (CDRLC), the new 135,000-square-foot facility will cling to an existing mid-century building that houses various engineering departments and research centers.
The new space provided by the new construction will house 16,000 square feet of classroom space, 35 labs including a 1,200-square-foot robotics lab, a student affairs office, and an undergraduate learning and community center.
The contemporary undulating design of the CDRLC is the work of Seattle-based LMN Architects alongside Chicago-based Booth Hansen. The unique facade incorporates a mix of recessed window openings, precast concrete panels, and terra cotta accents. The third floor will also be set back along the south-facing side to allow for a large terrace space. On the inside, the gap between the programming and the existing building will also allow for a full-height atrium that will provide natural light while retaining the facade of the existing building.
While the new structure will yield a net negative amount of parking due to the fact that no new parking will be made available and the structure will be replacing a former parking lot, the near vicinity offers students, faculty, and staff a range of transportation options. The nearest bus stops are directly adjacent to the site, with service for Route 157. Those looking to board Route 8 will find additional service at Halsted & Taylor via a two-minute walk east. Lastly, Route 12 offers service at 900 W Roosevelt Road.
Various rail options are also in close proximity. Closest Blue Line service is available at the UIC-Halsted station via a nine-minute walk north. Those looking to board the Metra also have access to Halsted Street station via a 14-minute walk south or Union Station via a 21-minute walk northeast.
Because the project is part of the public school system under Illinois State, permits are outside the scope of the City’s Department of Buildings. An official groundbreaking ceremony was held this past July, with W.E. O’Neil Construction serving as the general contractor. With a reported cost of $117.8 million, the CDRLC is expected to be completed in summer 2023.