University of Chicago Residence Hall
University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons / ChicagoIL
How can iconic architecture create a community hub?

Continuing our long-standing partnership with the University of Chicago, Mortenson was selected to lead a design-build team that included renowned architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects.

Located in the heart of Hyde Park, the University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons creates a welcoming gateway, blurring the line between campus and community. Reflecting the University's distinctive housing system—in which students of all years live and work together within various Houses to elevate social and academic success—the building's design emphasizes collaboration and connection.

The completed project emulates the limestone exterior evident throughout the campus. The 400,000 square-foot residence hall features a structural design consisting of cast-in-place concrete with high-quality precast panels. Four buildings, ranging from one to 15 stories, are interconnected by various plazas, gardens, walkways, and courtyards. Located within the larger Campus North Residential Commons, the Baker Dining Commons offers a light-filled gathering space with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a central quadrangle, as well as two private dining rooms equipped with smart technology. The building also accommodates offices for Campus and Student Life, classrooms, music practice rooms, outdoor green spaces, and 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

The eight Houses accommodate 800 undergraduate students. Each House includes a three-story common area—called "hubs"—where students can gather, study, and relax. The top floor Reading Room offers panoramic views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. Student room layouts include single and double rooms for first- and second-year students and private apartments with a kitchen and bathrooms for third- and fourth-year students. The building also provides apartment-like living space for senior faculty members serving as Resident Masters and Resident Heads for each House.

Mortenson employed Lean building practices including laser scanning and 3D Modeling to accelerate the schedule and deliver the project one year earlier than original development estimates.

Facts And Figures

University of Chicago

Completed September 2016


400,000 square feet

800 Beds

Delivery Methods


The Team


Chairman's Award for Community Impact and Social Responsibility - DBIA, 2017

Design Excellence, Architecture - DBIA, 2017

National Award of Merit, Educational Facilities - DBIA, 2017

Team Award, Gold - Building Design + Construction, 2017

Best Project, Residential/Hospitality - ENR Midwest, 2017

Top Residential Construction Project – Chicago/Suburbs category - CISCO Awards, 2018