Neighboring Crown Hall

IIT Campus Addition Advanced Studio
Critic: Prof. Thomas Beeby

The School of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago is planning to construct a new building next to Crown Hall in order to satisfy the unprecedented growth of the school over the last decade. The required space needs will have to be accommodated within a building envelope proposed by Mies van der Rohe in his final campus plan of 1940.
The school’s spatial needs have currently expanded well beyond the confines of Crown Hall with students now occupying 3 buildings. The faculty and administration of the school would prefer to see it housed in one structure again with Crown Hall becoming a museum and exhibition space dedicated to architectural exhibits and the Mies van der Rohe archive.
The premise of the project is that the campus no longer retains the “stillness” of the Mies planning, and the new additions by Koolhaas and Jahn confirmed and accelerated the shifting dynamic. Therefore, the new addition not only should evoke the spatial qualities of a Miesian language but also situate itself strategically next to its neighbors, the vibrant student center and the massive dormitory.
The proposition aims at achieving a new kind of “universal space” through a series of subtle revisions to the one established by Mies in Crown Hall, in order to foster a better environment for a school of architecture as well as a successful campus center.