University of Chicago: Albert A. Michelson Center for Physics / Perkins Eastman

University of Chicago: Albert A. Michelson Center for Physics

Chicago, Illinois
Perkins Eastman designed a gut renovation of an existing Astrophysics research building (originally designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1964) which adds two new levels to build the University’s new home for Theoretical and Experimental Physics. Surrounded by much larger biomedical and engineering buildings, the Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research (LASR) Renovation & Addition adds a mature and sensitive building to the University’s North Science Quad.

The project’s reuse of an existing, and challenging, structure is its most sustainable feature. The rigorously modern building features a monolithic concrete structural frame, deep floor plates, and shallow floor-to-floor heights. By locating light-sensitive labs in the building’s basement and interior, maximizing the day-lighting perimeter on both existing and new floors, and integrating solar shading devices into the building’s overall expression, the design addresses the challenges of the existing building while creating an inviting new institute for the University and greater physics communities.
AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards, Distinguished Building Award: Citation of Merit (2019)
ENR Midwest Best Projects, Award of Merit: Safety (2018)
ENR Midwest Best Projects, Award of Merit: Higher Education/Research (2018)
The University of Chicago MagazineA Unified Theory
Building Design + ConstructionOn the Drawing Board: University of Chicago Astrophysics Building to Undergo Expansion, Renovations