CLIENT

DePaul University

DESCRIPTION

New Theatre School

SERVICES

Mechanical & Electrical
Fire Protection
Technology Design

LOCATION

Chicago, Illinois

YEAR

2013

CONSTRUCTION COST

$70 million

PROJECT PARTNERS

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Thornton Tomasetti

SIZE

168,000 square feet

Precision Design for DePaul’s State-of-the-Art Theatre School

This five-story building balances structural, mechanical, and acoustic requirements in a tight 280-by-120-foot footprint with such a high level of precision that our project partners dubbed the building the “Swiss Watch.”

The LEED Gold building has two multi-level stage areas—a 250-seat thrust stage and a 100-seat flexible theater. The larger Fullerton Stage includes 10-foot-deep steel trusses that span nearly 80 feet over the column-free thrust stage and transfer loads from the floors above to the thick concrete walls around the stage. The height cap severely limited the space usually available for ducts and pipes, so our team worked closely with the structural engineers to create precise designs that threaded mechanical equipment through openings in the steel beams. Our designs supported energy-efficient elements like fritted glass throughout, green roof areas, and daylighting for offices, design studios, workshops, costume shops, and classrooms.