The Computer Design, Research, and Learning Center (CDRLC) at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) will establish a new front door for technology in downtown Chicago. The building, designed by LMN Architects in collaboration with Booth Hansen, will be located at a unique, prominent site on campus and will celebrate the natural setting and organic form of the Memorial Grove.
The 135,000-sf facility will consolidate the currently fragmented Computer & Science Department in a new home and co-locate it with a large cluster of university-administered classrooms at the heart of the east campus. The CDRLC is designed to be a welcoming, inclusive, and inviting space for the rapidly growing student body.
It will create a hub for both engineering and computer science that includes research areas comprised of faculty offices, collaboration areas, dry lab, and specialty lab; administrative and student affairs office spaces; collaborative teaching and learning spaces; an undergraduate learning and community center; and a flexible events room. All of these spaces will be stitched together by a five-story daylight atrium.
Together with the existing lab building, the new CDRLC will create a public atrium for social interactions with visual and physical connections to all floors. The atrium will be porous and dynamic with connections to the campus and the community, honoring the past and looking to the future. Reflecting a complex organization of requirements, the building will prompt students to cross paths with one another and enhance intellectual exchange. A new geo-thermal farm will be included in the Memorial Grove.
The CDRLC, which has been designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, will be delivered on an accelerated schedule to see the demands of the department.