Levi Hall West brighter

University of Chicago — Edward H. Levi Hall Portal

Chicago, IL


AIA Chicago Chapter Divine Detail Award

Chicago Building Congress Award Projects Under $15 Million

Photography: Tom Rossiter

Designed in Partnership with Gensler

At the University of Chicago campus, the main quadrangles organize the original buildings, comprised of a mix of Victorian Gothic and Collegiate Gothic styles. As the campus has continued to grow, its boundaries have moved, and the campus master plan envisioned westward extension of the east-west quadrangle axis.

​To reinforce the master plan's goals and help solve circulation and enclosure issues at the Levi Hall administration building, a portal was opened through the building’s existing entry lobby, connecting the two sides of the campus.

Levi Hall West Entry Before
121104 UC Levi Floor Plan

The redesign required a multi-year phased renovation of the entire building to accommodate the relocated first-floor program.

The walkway design was informed by a wind study, which demonstrated that a smooth through-way would cause a wind tunnel. To mitigate this condition, folding glass walls make up the opening's sides to slow the wind as it passes through.

Edward H. Levi Hall Portal 03
Edward H. Levi Hall Portal 07