School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL, United States
The SAIC Wellness Center interior renovation, completed in the summer of 2019, is designed with the intention to be culturally inclusive and welcoming to a campus that serves a growing number of students with international and diverse backgrounds. As a result, the design features the creation of a warm and welcoming wellness environment through the combination of natural materials and soothing colors. Being a vertical campus with limited space for expansion, the scope of work provided the JGMA team with a challenge of creating a comfortable student procession through a constrained amount of space. Subsequently, the plan relocates the public pathways to run adjacent to existing windows, allocating ample natural daylight to corridors and giving students access to the views of downtown Chicago from the 16-floor high-rise building. At its entry, the lobby serves as a place of architectural way-finding that offers both physical relief and acoustical solace through the introduction of bold elements in the form of sweeping acoustically rated colored ceilings and re purposed wood slat walls. These wood slats not only provide an embracing sense of entry but also a visual buffer in the limited space between the public elevators and the student waiting room.
Offering a practical, sustainable, and budget friendly solution to a reoccurring privacy issue within the previous layout. Overall, the modernization stems from a commitment to ensure an improvement in the quality of space for all student health support services including Counseling Services, Health Services, and the Disability and Learning Resource Center.
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