exterior of quad portal
University of Chicago Quad Portal / ChicagoIL
How can you accommodate the rush of students moving across campus?
The University of Chicago hired Gensler and Krueck+Sexton to design a “portal” through Edward H. Levi Hall - the University’s administration building - in order to enhance students’ ability to travel around campus.

On the main quadrangle in the heart of the campus, Levi sits along a prominent pathway. Prior to the renovation, pedestrians frequently walked through the building, disrupting the building’s operations. The University sought to remedy this while also creating a stronger link between the main campus and the medical center campus while also enhancing the East-West access through the entire school.

The project’s main distinctive design feature is the high-end VS-1 curtain wall system. The mullion-only system holds the glass away from the mullion without bolt fixings or transoms, creating a visual ‘floating’ effect. The angular glass sections provide a unique architectural look for the portal. High-end details were included throughout, including nickel-silver finishes on the renovated elevator cabs, and balanced doors were installed to provide easy and smooth operation for the building’s occupants. Granite pavers match the campus aesthetic while a heating system below the pavers eliminates snow in the winter.

Facts And Figures

University of Chicago

Completed December 2013


15,000 square feet

Delivery Methods

Construction Manager at Risk

The Team


Chicago Building Congress (CBC) Merit Award for New Construction