Last spring, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees gave project approval for the renovation of Douglas Hall, what will soon be the permanent home for the College of Business Administration. Now, only a year later, Douglas Hall has been completely transformed into an ultra-modern environment that preserves the original concept of the Walter Netsch Brutalist design. Nestch’s innovative aesthetic defined UIC’s campus and led to a surge in Brutalism across the country.
The transformation of the building will give the CBA access to larger, fully equipped classrooms and on-campus administrative space that will allow the college to deliver its high-quality education in a state-of-the-art learning environment. In addition, it will expand and strengthen the CBA community by providing a place for its stakeholders to gather, increase the visibility of the college among business leaders in Chicago, and help advance the college’s mission and further establish its preeminence in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Set to open this fall, Douglas Hall will feature interactive, flexible learning studios designed to foster creativity and innovation; a trading room will give students the experience of a real-world financial services setting in a learning environment and strengthen the college’s relationships with the Chicago financial exchanges; and administrative office space will provide a dedicated home for the Liautaud Graduate School of Business in the heart of campus. Students will have 24/7 access to Douglas Hall to make use of its high-tech collaboration hubs.
As part of UIC’s ongoing commitment to conservation, the college has taken the necessary steps throughout the construction process to achieve LEED certification for the building. LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, which encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
The CBA’s new home will serve as an example for other building projects both on campus and around the city through our dedication to green design and sustainability. We are working with the architect to obtain a LEED Silver Certification for the renovated building.
The Architects Enterprise, Ltd. is a professional firm with offices in Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia. Incorporated in Illinois in February 1989 by president and owner Yves Jeanty, The Architects Enterprise, Ltd., has worked on projects across the city including two new branches of the Chicago Public Library System, the new Northside College Preparatory High School, the Lawndale Performing Arts and Community Center and the 2.5 million square foot expansion of McCormick Place.
The draw of Douglas Hall will extend beyond campus to attract the business community. Lecture halls will feature renowned speakers, learning studios will play host to research seminars, and bright, modern workrooms will hold networking events that bring together executives from across the country and around the world.
The renovation would not have gotten underway without the generous support of alumni and friends of the college. Family Business Council member Alan Crane and his wife donated the Lori and Alan Crane Family Medium Learning Studio. “My wife and I are happy to help to rebuild the campus,” says Crane. “A better business school brings better business students.”
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