Located in the middle of the IIT Campus in Chicago, Illinois, The Gallery project takes place on the largest parcel (Parcel 2) between Siege Hall, the Paul V. Galvin Library to the west and Crawn Hall to the south.
The entrance is recognizable by the open forecourt which provides an initial perspective of volumes and a link to the main carriageway to the north of the site.
These two recessed volumes create an intimate passage. The front building closes the plot and favors a feeling of interiority. These two floors reserved for students are both a visual limit and an invitation to see what is hidden inside.
When one crosses the porch created by the interlocking of these first two volumes (the semi-buried library and the student building), one finds oneself inside a glass gallery which is the central and main space for wandering. This gallery connects the brick modules that respond to the program of the Mies Memorial Library as well as spaces for pauses and contemplation of the garden. This indoor walk allows to keep a link with the outside and to be immersed in a museum-garden while walking from module to module.
The existing exterior paths cross the gallery without interrupting it. The materiality of the exterior floor is integrated into the interior space to accentuate the idea of a space for wandering and the desire to preserve the context.
At the crossroads of this L-shaped circulation emerges the highest module which gathers the study and research stations as well as the storage of the architect’s masterpieces. Like a belvedere, this module emphasizes the angle of the gallery and assumes its height in relation to the rest of the project, which is mostly low and very long, in a nod to the achievements and architectural style of Mies Van Der Rohe.
The materials chosen are brick mainly for its dense properties that respond relatively well to extreme temperatures (hot or cold) as well as glass for its transparency, its relationship to the external environment and to light.
The chosen orientation of the building is favorable to natural ventilation when temperatures rise, with prevailing winds coming from the North, South and West.
- The Study Building: This is the building reserved for students from the ground floor to the second floor. Its large windows offer a view of the square, the comings and goings in the gallery and a visual link with the garden. It has a study room with luminous tables for decalcification, individual and shared work surfaces, and lockers for 200 students. Like all the multi-storey modules, it is both accessible by stairs or elevator PMR.
- Administration: Reserved for the staff, it has direct access to the copy room. It is composed of a reception area, a meeting area and a rest area/cafeteria.
- The library: This semi-buried building offers a subdued and relaxing atmosphere thanks to its main facade made of lattice and tinted glass. It allows you to enjoy a quiet moment among books. The semi-buried floor is illuminated by an English courtyard planted with trees that allows you to reach the upper level outside by large stairs on which it is possible to stroll, have lunch or read a book.
- The belvedere: (Research and storage stations) Its openings to the north and south offer a view of the gallery and the entire project.
- The Atrium: A living space composed of high steps on which one can eat, discuss or read. It is a break space in the project where it is possible to have lunch, to work. The space allows to have an extra cafeteria.
- The copy Room.
- The auditorium.