OMA/Jacobs Selected to Design University of Illinois at Chicago’s New DPI Innovation Center | New

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Image courtesy of OMA and bloomimages.de



Joint OMA and Jacobs team selected to design new 200,000 square foot headquarters for University of Illinois system Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago, the state and Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday.

The multi-year project will transform a 62-acre former disused yard site as the first build into the larger 78 Innovation District, intended to provide a high-tech connection between Chinatown and the South Loop.

Image courtesy OMA and Lucian R

Pritzker says his “futuristic design” matches the state’s ambition to create a downtown innovation hub on land donated to the state by Related Companies’ Midwest operation. Beyond the typical economic stimulus elements provided by the project, the development will support a host of K-12 education and entrepreneurship programs, continued wastewater monitoringand a hodgepodge of other collaborative business ventures focused on the tech industry.

Image courtesy of OMA and bloomimages.de

Image courtesy of OMA and bloomimages.de

The eight-story design will include an open public space on the ground floor, an auditorium and a cafe, all anchored by a new sculptural commission from Canadian artist Richard Hunt. OMA’s lead partner, Shohei Shigematsu, says its “smooth and transparent form” comes as an “open invitation for the community to the building and its network”, adding that “programs are organized to maximize efficiency and convergence potential, and various layouts are configured around a central collision zone.

Image courtesy OMA

Image courtesy OMA and Lucian R
Image courtesy of OMA and bloomimages.de

The upper levels of the building will further be defined by a flexibility of space that is crucial to the collaborative scope of the development. Key functions are organized into stacked “towers” ​​that allow for efficiency and ease of use of the design. The orientation from the atrium upwards is designed in the same way. The completed building will be enveloped in a transparent, high-performance facade and will represent the latest in a series of collaborations between the two companies that stretch back many years.

The project is expected to start in 2024.








Image courtesy OMA


Image courtesy OMA













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Rozella J. Cook