Phasing and interim planning for a major new university laboratory building

Project Details

The Eckhardt Research Center (ERC) is a new, high performance building at the University of Chicago. The building is home to the Physical Sciences Division’s Dean’s Office, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics and the Institute for Molecular Engineering.

In addition to serving as Associate Architect for the building with HOK as Prime Architect and presiding over all FF&E, IDEA oversaw the Enabling Projects which involved the planning and design of swing spaces for the relocation and staging of various departments while the new facility is built.

The Enabling Projects involved creating working spaces in six campus buildings totaling over 65,000 SF to accommodate displaced faculty and students. The most challenging was the 34,000 SF Accelerator Building which had previously been used to house dry labs for the Physical Sciences Division including a “high bay” used to assemble and package large items to be used in experiments conducted in space.