2019 Best of Design Award winner for Building Renovation — Civic: Keller Center
Designer: Farr Associates
Location: Chicago

Farr Associates and Woodhouse Tinucci Architects have transformed a 1964 Edward Durell Stone building on the University of Chicago’s South Campus into the Keller Center, the new home of the Harris School of Public Policy. Policy-inspired design solutions connect with the community, place policy on display, and shape the project’s approach to sustainability. The existing, expansive concrete structure offered little connection to the exterior environment. With the renovation, a four-story atrium carved into the building brings daylight down to its lowest level. A monumental stair promotes active design and extends the warmth of the forum up through the atrium with reclaimed ash trees, which were harvested from downed Chicago Park District trees and milled by local residents through a collaboration with artist Theaster Gates.

Structural Engineer: Stearn-Joglekar
Lighting Designer: AKLD
Landscape Architect: site design group
Civil Engineer: TERRA Engineering
MEP Engineer: dbHMS

Honorable Mentions

Project Name: Centennial Planetarium
Lemay + Toker

Planetarium ceiling with rows of blue couches

Building Renovation- Civic: Honorable Mention: Centennial Planetarium (Courtesy Lemay + Toker)

Project Name: Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art
Sparano + Mooney Architecture

Exterior of rectangular building lit from within at night

Building Renovation- Civic: Honorable Mention: Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (Jeremy Bittermann)

Editors’ Picks

Project Name: Oregon Conservation Center
Designer: LEVER Architecture

Project Name: National Arts Centre Rejuvenation
Designer: Diamond Schmitt Architects

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