VALERIO DEWALT TRAIN ASSOCIATES CREATES ANGULAR ARTS BUILDING IN CHICAGO

American firm Valerio Dewalt Train Associates has completed a stone and glass arts centre in Chicago for a progressive private school for children. The building, called the Gordon Park Arts Hall, is located on the main campus for the University of Chicago Laboratory School, often referred to as Lab School. It serves as a primary and secondary school. Encompassing 90,000 square feet (8,360 square meters), the three-storey building contains art and music studios, offices, an art gallery, theatres, and a main performance hall. Mostly rectangular in plan, it has an asymmetric form that features angled glass roofs, slender towers and triangular arches. The facade consists of Indiana limestone, metal panels and glass. On the north elevation, four glass-sheathed solar chimneys enable natural ventilation. For the new building, the design team took cues from Dewey’s educational philosophy, which advocates hands-on, project-based learning. The facility aims to foster “multimedia literacy”, in which people use video, music, photographs, animation, and other forms of media to learn and communicate.

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