The new Computer Design Research and Learning Center at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), situated at 900 W Taylor Street in Little Italy, is rapidly approaching exterior completion. This five-story extension will be linked to the existing Science and Engineering Labs building, expanding UIC’s capacity for its computer science program, as well as related research and projects.
Spanning a total of 135,000 square feet, the center will incorporate 16,000 square feet dedicated to classrooms, an array of 35 labs, administrative offices, and a comprehensive robotics lab. An expansive terrace on the third level will extend communal outdoor space, and a full-height atrium will ensure natural light penetration and facilitate movement between the new and existing facilities.
Booth Hansen, in collaboration with Seattle-based LMN Architects, is behind the building’s unique design, which features a curving facade with broad recessed windows, combined with terracotta accents and metal paneling. Installation of these precast pieces has been advancing steadily in recent months, with windows following in close succession.
In addition to its integration with existing campus parking, the site is linked to various modes of transit. These include the CTA L Blue Line at UIC-Halsted station, which is a nine-minute walk to the north. The nearby 900 W Taylor Street stop serves bus service for Route 157, and there are additional stops for Routes 8 and 12 within a five-minute walk.
The project, tallying at $125 million, has W.E. O’Neil Construction as the main contractor, with Duco Cement Construction supporting the concrete work. The center is projected to be ready before this coming fall.