In 2012, Hanbury worked with the University of Chicago to expand their house concept and developed the program, planning and concept for 800 students, faculty-in-residence accommodations, dining and academic space. The community was sited in a new residential precinct on the north edge of campus.
The University is known for its high-level intellectual energy, fostered in part by a unique system of on-campus residences made up of 35 houses. These communities of about 100 students from all four years who eat, study, debate, and play together, sharing a cluster of individual rooms and common areas within the larger residence halls. Each has its own traditions and culture, with an independent house council and resident staff.
Following the program and concept development, Hanbury partnered with Studio Gang Architects for final design in a design-build competition. The new community, is comprised of eight houses; dining, retail, lounge, and multi-purpose rooms; offices and classrooms; and a community commons, as well as residence staff and resident master apartments. Each house features a “hub” consisting of three floors each that acts as “a house within a house,” connecting all levels physically and visually. The lowest floor of the hub acts as the living room and kitchen, with a dining area and lounge seating in the main gathering space. The mid-level has an entertainment area for TV and video games, and smaller seating areas for group discussion or study. The uppermost level of each hub hosts study and meeting space overlooking the levels below. Meanwhile, private community courtyards offer a place to gather, study and relax with the members of your house.
Diversity is an intentionally designed component of this work; a cross section of students’ academic and extracurricular interests and cultural backgrounds stimulates a high level of personal growth. Space is intentionally designed to promote engagement an well being.
“We are so pleased with your work here at the University of Chicago, and have benefited greatly from your insight, knowledge of the industry, and responsiveness. Many thanks for your ongoing collaborations.”
–Steven Wiesenthal, FAIA, Senior Vice President and University Architect, University of Chicago