The Charles M. Harper Center in Chicago. © Feinknopf Photography.
The award-winning Charles M. Harper Center is a 415,000-square-foot, five-story graduate academic facility located on the University’s main Hyde Park campus. The building is composed of a base building with five above-grade levels and two below-grade levels, and a glass-enclosed winter garden. The complex features 12 classrooms, 31 group-study rooms, faculty offices, computer laboratories, multipurpose rooms and an underground parking garage for 170 cars.
The architectural design, marked by the building’s horizontal massing and cantilevered exterior walls, reference Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style of the neighboring Robie House. The resulting cantilevers range from three feet to 42 feet and required more than 600 moment connections.
A signature architectural element is the 10,000-square-foot winter garden that is framed with structural steel and clad entirely with glass. It soars 83 feet at its apex, with the roof supported by four main columns.
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