UChicago Starts Work on Research Facility Expansion

Designed by Perkins Eastman, the 63,500-square-foot expansion is scheduled for completion in 2017.

By Ioana Neamt

Rendering of the expanded Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research, Chicago
Rendering of the expanded Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research, Chicago

ChicagoThe University of Chicago has broken ground on a Perkins Eastman-designed two-story addition to its Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research on Ellis Avenue in South Side Chicago.

The expansion will update and expand the single-story building designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill back in 1964. The new space will house both the university’s theoretical and experimental research groups, as well as the department of physics, including the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics.

The 63,500-square-foot building is aiming to achieve LEED Silver certification. Upon completion, it will include two large gathering spaces, offices, a roof terrace and below-grade laboratories. The building’s façade will be calibrated to reduce the need for artificial light, while heating and cooling will be provided through overhead chilled beams instead of conventional forced air systems.

“We are so pleased to contribute to the architecturally distinguishd University of Chicago campus,” Jerry Walleck, managing principal of Perkins Eastman’s Chicago office & principal-in-charge of the project, said in a statement. “In addition to bringing into modern use an existing campus building, the new LASR building will contribute to the University’s vibrant North Science Quadrangle and create a strong and mature building befitting the quality and caliber of intellectual pursuits by the Department of Physics.”

The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2017.

Rendering courtesy of Perkins Eastman