GEMS Lower School

GEMS Lower School

GEMS World Academy is a private K–12 school in Chicago’s Lakeshore East Community. The two-building vertical campus marries GEMS’ program with local requirements, creating a new model for a high-rise school in an arena of limited precedents. The use of state-of-the art technology enables students to collaborate with classrooms throughout the world, providing an international perspective on education.

The Lower School houses 660 students within 10 stories on a limited site. Juxtaposed against an adjacent park, the playful exterior is a modernist composition of interlacing colored panels and glass. The configuration responds to internal program elements while rationalizing the construction, allowing for fast-paced fabrication.

Organized to reduce travel times, the common areas are stacked centrally. Interior architecture is driven by flexibility, optimized floor area, connectivity, daylight and views.  The design responds to the unique site constraints, provides a variety of spatial experiences, and makes strategic use of color and materials while maintaining a consistent approach to detailing.

The Lower School facility has been planned in conjunction with an Upper School that is to be constructed in a future phase. Distribution of grade levels and spaces between the two separate but proximate sites was determined during the master planning process. The two buildings, planned to serve a total of 2,100 students, maintain a unified approach to interior and exterior design, make provisions for internal drop offs to limit street traffic, and assist in stitching together the neighborhood by filling two vacant sites.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2012 – 2013
Construction
Completed 2014
Project Area
83,000 square feet
Consultants
Halvorson and Partners, Structural; WMA Consulting Engineers, MEP/FP; Mackie Consultants, Civil; Wolff Landscape Architecture, Landscape; Archiluce International, Lighting
Contractor
Power Construction Company
Materials
Glazed curtain wall, LoE vision glass, translucent glass, and metal panels of various widths and colors
Awards
AIA IL 2016 Mies van der Rohe Citation of Merit
IIDA RED Award: exemplary design in Educational - PK12 interiors
ENR Midwest Best Projects Award of Merit: K-12 Education
ASA Chicago Outstanding Project 2015
Photography
Darris Lee Harris
Maxamillian Studio

GEMS Middle-Upper School

GEMS World Academy is a private K–12 school in Chicago’s Lakeshore East Community. The two-building vertical campus marries GEMS’ program with local requirements, creating a new model for a high-rise school in an arena of limited precedents. The use of state-of-the art technology enables students to collaborate with classrooms throughout the world, providing an international perspective on education.

The Middle-Upper School, to be located on Wacker Drive, will house 1,440 students and overlook the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. To address the challenges and opportunities of this unique urban location, the Middle-Upper School was developed in conjunction with the Lower School during a master planning process. The resulting 2,100 student campus utilizes a unified palette of materials for the interior and exterior design and sets a precedent for exceptional architectural standards as GEMS enters the U.S. market.

The Middle-Upper School building incorporates an internal drop off and two levels of parking. Common spaces are primarily located at the base of the building to facilitate events, while dedicated learning spaces are placed at the top, maximizing natural light and views and limiting travel times between classes.

The integrated approach to sustainability includes cooling from a local existing district plant, eliminating the need for a chiller in either building. With this system in place, the area dedicated to mechanical functions is reduced, enabling more usable program area across the campus.

GEMS World Academy Phase 2 Construction Webcam

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2013 – 2014
Construction
Ongoing
Project Area
211,500 square feet
Consultants
Halvorson and Partners, Structural; WMA Consulting Engineers, MEP/FP; Mackie Consultants, Civil; Wolff Landscape Architecture, Landscape
Contractor
Power Construction Company
Materials
Glazed curtain wall, LoE vision glass, translucent glass, and metal panels of various widths and colors

Hyde Park Academy High School

bKL provided planning and design management services for the two-part renovation of Hyde Park Academy High School. In this role, as owner’s representative for Chicago Public Schools, bKL worked with the Architect of Record to develop comprehensive scopes and budgets for each phase, while ensuring that CPS design standards, specifications and schedule goals were met.

Currently serving 800 students in grades 9 through 12, this classical style school, on the south side of Chicago, has been designated by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey as Orange Listed. Built in 1911, with subsequent additions in 1937 and 1970, the facility encompasses a total of 298,000 SF. The school offers Broadcast Technology, Digital Media, General Education, Career & Technical Education (CTE) International Baccalaureate (IB).

The first phase of the project’s renovation included a $20M investment focused on the exterior envelope and the associated interior damage due to long term water infiltration. The project included a full roof replacement, as well as select stone replacement at the building parapet. Select new windows and select interior improvements were also made. Due to long-term deferred maintenance, there was significant damage to plaster walls throughout the building. In order to mitigate the damage created by water infiltration, significant abatement and rebuilding of walls had to be performed. Also addressed were full renovations of a small practice gym, the cafeteria, and select corridors and classrooms.

In the second phase, CPS invested another $20M toward interior renovations. This effort was focused on programmatic improvements of spaces to enhance the school’s existing International Baccalaureate (IB) program; including the full renovation of 9 science labs, a 2-story library, a computer lab, art rooms, and additional interior renovations to classrooms, office spaces and the auditorium.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
Phase 1 – 2017
Phase 2 – 2018
Construction
Phase 1 – Assumed 2019
Phase 2 – Assumed 2020
Project Area
298,000 square feet
Consultants
K2N Crest, Structural; dbHMS, MEP; Engage Civil Incorporated, Civil
Contractor
Tyler Lane Construction, Inc.
Photography
Philip Shin
CPS Program Management Office
Jacobs Engineering, Cotter Consulting, Primera Engineering, Perry and Associates, Infrastructure Engineering, Inc., LCM Architects
CPS Architect of Record
Brook Architecture

Anna R. Langford Community Academy

As the owner’s representative for Chicago Public Schools, bKL led the planning and design management for Anna R. Langford Community Academy, a 79,000 SF, three-story facility in the West Englewood Community. Formerly known as Nicholas Copernicus Public School, the 1905 building has been recognized by Chicago Landmarks as Orange Listed. The historic nature of the building led to a conscious effort to preserve and restore the exterior to its original design, including the replacement of the 9,900 SF standing seam metal roof with a shingled roof to mimic the original slate design. Additional exterior upgrades included repairs and painting of the ornamental steel cornices, spandrel panels and window mullions; 20% masonry tuckpointing, and full cleaning of the brick. Interior renovations addressed abatement, patching and painting of plaster in the gymnasiums, corridors and third-floor classrooms.

This capital improvement project was planned simultaneously with two other sister schools from the era: Eli Whitney Elementary School and James Monroe Elementary School. Although scopes of work required for each building varied, the approaches to each of the three renovations were informed by the prototypical nature of the original designs.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2018
Construction
2019
Project Area
79,000 square feet
Consultants
Dynacept Engineering, MEP
Contractor
All-Bry Construction
Photography
Philip Shin
CPS Program Management Office
Jacobs Engineering, Cotter Consulting, Primera Engineering, Perry and Associates, Infrastructure Engineering, Inc., LCM Architects
CPS Architect of Record
Doyle & Associates

University of Chicago – Donoghue

bKL provided planning and design management services for the exterior renovation of The University of Chicago Charter School’s Donoghue campus. In their role as owner’s representative for Chicago Public Schools, bKL developed a comprehensive scope, budget and oversight of the Architect of Record for this CPS owned facility. The campus is composed of a 75,000 SF two-story main building that was constructed in 1963. The renovation of this building totaled $3.8M and included interior and exterior repair. The exterior underwent a 48,000 SF roof replacement that included an extension and redesign of the corrugated metal parapet, 100% masonry tuckpointing, and replacement of all existing plexiglass windows.

The interior scope included painting of select classrooms, library, and toilet rooms, patchwork in the toilet rooms, as well as new flooring and furniture in the cafeteria. Due to water infiltration of existing windows in classrooms, select finish renovations were completed.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2016
Construction
Completed 2017
Project Area
75,000 square feet
Consultants
CCJM, Structural Engineer & MEP
Contractor
Blinderman Construction Co, Inc
Photography
Philip Shin
CPS Program Management Office
Jacobs Engineering, Cotter Consulting, Primera Engineering, Perry and Associates, Infrastructure Engineering, Inc., LCM Architects
CPS Architect of Record
Holabird & Root

Bronzeville Classical Elementary School

Hartigan Elementary School re-opened in 2018 as Bronzeville Classical Elementary School after an extensive renovation. The renovation of this building totaled $11M, included interior and exterior repair and now has the capacity to serve 600 students. In their role as owner’s representative for Chicago Public Schools, bKL provided the comprehensive scope, budget and oversight of the architect of record on behalf of CPS.

The transformation of the building exterior included the replacement of the existing mosaic tile spandrel with a colorful metal panels and fins. Other exterior work included targeted masonry and roof repairs, window repairs, and the replacement of window guards. The comprehensive interior scope included a new welcoming lobby, lighting upgrades, new finishes in corridors, classrooms, lunchroom, administrative spaces and toilet rooms. New furniture was provided throughout the building.

Revisions were made to the existing building layout to incorporated new science, music, and art rooms, as well as a new resource center. A new playlot, turf play area, and landscaping also give the enhance the outdoor learning environment.

To improve building accessibility, the existing structure was modified to insert a two-story elevator. Triple height drinking fountains, a new unisex toilet room, as well as accessibility updates to staff and student toilet rooms, and accessible emergency exits from the gymnasium were included in the project.

Improving the indoor environmental quality was a focus as well, with either a repair or replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and the installment of a new chiller. For improved security, an upgraded fire alarm system, replacement of existing security lighting, and new security cameras were also included in the renovation.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2017-2018
Construction
2018
Project Area
63,100 square feet
Consultants
Goodfriend Magruder Structure LLC, Structural; RME, Civil; Melvin Cohen Associates, MEP; Daniel Weinbach & Partners, Landscape
Contractor
The George Sollitt Construction Co.
Photography
Philip Shin
CPS Program Management Office
Jacobs Engineering, Cotter Consulting, Primera Engineering, Perry and Associates, Infrastructure Engineering, Inc., LCM Architects
CPS Architect of Record
KOO

Helen M. Hefferan Elementary School

As the owner’s representative for Chicago Public Schools, bKL led the planning and design management services for the renovation of Helen M. Hefferan Elementary School, a 61,000 SF, two story school facility built in 1961 in the West Garfield Park Community. The $6.6M project included an exterior envelope renovation addressing the full replacement of the roof, approximately 11,000 SF of curtain wall, as well as tuckpointing of approximately 50% of the masonry. Interior scope included painting of all the classrooms, ceiling replacement, and lighting upgrades to the corridors and dining room. The school was also selected to receive a new Parent University space, which was built out in conjunction with this project.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2017
Construction
2019
Project Area
61,000 square feet
Consultants
RAO Engineering, MEP
Contractor
FH Paschen
Photography
Philip Shin
CPS Program Management Office
Jacobs Engineering, Cotter Consulting, Primera Engineering, Perry and Associates, Infrastructure Engineering, Inc., LCM Architects
CPS Architect of Record
E C Purdy & Associates

West Lafayette Student Housing Project

This 208-unit student housing mixed-use project is located in West Lafayette, Indiana. The five-story building is comprised of a retail and parking base with residential levels above. The design of the building highlights the connectivity between the surrounding Purdue University and the community.

The southwest corner of the building is adjacent to a connective street of Purdue University’s campus, while the northeast corner is located within a residential neighborhood in West Lafayette. The building’s massing steps down from five-story units on the southwest side to three and four-story town home units on the northeast side.

On the ground level, retail space is set back to provide a more gracious pedestrian experience and a visual distinction between the residential and commercial functions. There are two spacious courtyards located in the middle of the residential units to provide garden visibility from the interior of the residential units.

The exterior façade is faceted to provide texture and human scale to the building while responding to the adjacent context. The facade combines modern aesthetics, utilizing metal paneling, glass and brick masonry throughout the design.

Location
West Lafayette, Indiana
Design
2016-2017
Materials
Glass, metal paneling, brick masonry

New Charter High School

New Charter High School
New Charter High School
New Charter High School

bKL was invited to prepare a conceptual design for a new urban charter high school serving 1,000 students. The goals addressed innovation, efficiency of circulation, and limited budget.

The design is composed of forms arranged to define and distinguish the elements of the school’s program. The building’s functions are organized into two highly efficient wings, separating the quieter focused learning areas from the louder social space. The strategy for organization of circulation and spaces anticipates adjustments to programmatic elements as the design evolves. The program was constrained to standard classrooms, science labs, a lecture hall, a combined gym/cafeteria space, administrative and support spaces. As specialty spaces were not part of the requirements, the lecture hall was developed as an aspirational and multi-functional destination, simulating a sophisticated, flexible space of a collegiate environment and highlighted from outside with a distinct façade and window expression.

Maximizing the indoor-outdoor relationship, the central courtyard is bathed in sun and shielded from prevailing winds. The courtyard adds opportunities for study, play, meeting and dining, performances and community events and creates a dynamic haven that is activated by students without adding interior built area.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2014
Project Area
70,000 square feet

Adlai Stevenson High School

Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Student amenities for this existing facility are enhanced through the creation and expansion of informal and formal gathering spaces, tying the campus together in a cohesive manner. A new addition and the remodeling of existing interior and exterior spaces improves circulation and provides a unifying visual vocabulary.

Outdoor classrooms are in clearly defined zones, supporting learning, gathering and outdoor dining. Site redevelopment addresses current student behavioral patterns and provides a direct and safe path of travel between three building entrances.

The Digital Information Learning Center (DILC) is a centralized hub envisioned to address student needs for study, interaction and technical support, while enhancing the connection between the two sides of campus. Spaces are organized as “oases” enabling flexibility of circulation and activities around tech support, offices, classrooms and quiet and collaborative study areas.

An expanded sports lobby creates one contiguous “Hall of Fame” connecting the competition Gym, the DILC and exterior spaces. At the lower level, the faculty dining room has been reconceived as one large meeting room that can be subdivided into three spaces to accommodate student activities. The new corridor, equipped with a work surface, links the space to both ends of the sports lobby and further improves internal circulation from one end of the building to the other.

Location
Lincolnshire, IL
Design
Competition, 2014
Project Area
Interior: 44,500 square feet
Exterior: 92,000 square feet
Consultants
Terry Guen Design Associates, Landscape; KJWW Engineering Consultants, MEP, Structural, and AV/IT

CPS Summer Critical Projects

CPS Summer Critical Projects

bKL completed three fast-track projects that were critical to ensuring welcoming environments for Chicago Public Schools students upon the start of the school year. All three projects had the same schedules, with design and construction occurring within a limited time frame of 10 total weeks.

A variety of interior and exterior renovations were provided for Leif Ericson, Oscar DePriest, and Kellman Corporate Community elementary schools. These included classroom, auditorium, library, dining, corridor and toilet room renovations, as well as the remodeling of exterior entrance access routes.

In addition to aesthetic improvements, provisions were made for air conditioning and wireless access points in compliance with the CPS mission to enhance technology and provide climate controlled learning environments.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2013
Construction
2013
Consultants
Melvin Cohen and Associates, MEP for all 3 schools; MFH Associates, Structural for DePriest and Ericson
Contractor
F.H. Paschen
Photography
Darris Lee Harris

Gale Math and Science Academy

bKL facilitated fast track summer renovations for the Stephen F. Gale Math and Science Academy’s two building campus serving 370 students in PK-8th grades.

Renovations to the Main Building, originally built in 1922, included remodeling of the building’s 4 main entrances to provide ADA accessible approaches, replace doors and modify vestibules. Extensive parapet reconstruction and roofing repairs were also completed across 29,000 s.f of the building’s roofs.

Gale’s Annex, originally built in 1997, required a full replacement of 13,000 s.f. of roofing across the building’s two roof levels. As increased insulation was necessary to meet the current energy code, bKL collaborated with structural and mechanical engineers to address new loading requirements and existing roof top equipment. Modifications to chiller support bracing, masonry walls and parapets were made to improve flashing and joint details.

Location
Chicago, IL
Design
2014
Construction
2014
Consultants
Rubinos & Mesia Engineers, Structural and Civil; dbHMS, MEP
Contractor
K.R. Miller Contractors
Photography
Josh Pabst Photo