By International Living Future Institute
Excerpt from International Living Future Institute article:
The Keller Center revived and re-imagined a mid-century masterpiece by Edward Durell Stone. The building is prominently located on the Midway Plaisance at the University of Chicago’s South Campus. The building is an example of the New Formalism architectural style, developed from the International Style prevalent in the 1960s. It is characterized by classicism, strict symmetry, and decorative elements. A sensitive transformation of the building has retained and celebrated Stone’s signature design—slender encircling columns, projecting perforated canopy, and limestone façade with decorative tracery. New passages erode the monumental plinth with terraced landscape to better connect with adjacent academic facilities and provide a fully accessible pedestrian experience. Glass insertions through the limestone façade at key entry points create a more visible, welcoming entrance. Inside at the heart of the Keller Center is a sun-streaked 4-story atrium that was carved into the building to connect all levels and provide Harris with a venue for public policy and social impact.
10. Red List Imperative
The materials petal seeks to eliminate the use of worst in class materials and chemicals with the greatest impact to human and ecosystem health. In a move that is working to transform the industry one product and manufacturer at a time, a Grace fireproofing product was vetted for the Keller Center. During this process it was discovered that a halogenated flame-retardant present in their product was not necessary. The chemical was removed from their national line and will be red list compliant moving forward. The Keller Center looks to be a model of sustainability for the University of Chicago as well as the City of Chicago, pushing the industry forward and sourcing materials and services locally. Given that the project is also a renovation, many materials are salvaged for reuse either in the building or donated to local salvage companies to extend their lifetime.
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