University of Chicago

Projects : infrastructure  
University of Chicago
Gordon Center for Integrative Science Chiller Facility
Chicago, IL
28,500 gsf
Chilled water plant to serve CIS research facility
Design, construction administration

The Chiller Facility provides 4,000 tons of chilled water and emergency power to the new 427,000 gsf Gordon Center for Integrative Science research building, also designed by Ellenzweig. For efficient delivery of materials and removal of waste, the Chiller Facility is built directly above the main loading dock of the Center.

The Chiller Facility is simultaneously resolved as an integral component of the Research Facility and a structure sympathetic to the immediately surrounding context of academic buildings and pedestrian landscapes.

The primary façades of the Chiller Facility are composed of curtainwall, patterned with clear and translucent glass. Modulated to follow the limestone and metal panel façades of the Gordon Center for Integrative Science, the plant's glass walls are further animated by reflections of the nearby campus buildings. The insets of clear glass allow views of the colorful mechanical equipment housed within, and permit natural light deep into the service spaces of the facility - enhancing the quality and safety of the work environment for plant technicians. In the evening, the backlit translucent glass transforms the Chiller Facility into a beacon for this part of the campus.