With classroom and administrative wings, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools' Earl Shapiro Hall is quite simple, though atypical forms and detailing required tight coordination among specialty trades, which met regularly with contractor and designers to review intent and feasibility.

Photo Courtesy of Karant+Associates Inc.
Atypical forms and detailing required tight coordination among specialty trades involved in constructing University of Chicago Lab Schools' Earl Shapiro Hall.

Among other features, steel frame and metal deck create a cantilevering, geometrically skewed library atop the administrative wing. The concrete-framed classroom wing incorporates projecting piers that have been likened to the flying buttresses of Gothic cathedrals. Metal ceilings within the 130,000-sq-ft facility are set at angles with the intent of creating unique and interesting spaces. Full-height glazing provides abundant natural lighting in classrooms.

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools - Earl Shapiro Hall, Chicago

Key Players

Owner University of Chicago

General Contractor Lend Lease, Chicago

Designer FGM Architects Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.; Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago

Structural Engineer RME Inc., Chicago

MEP Engineer Arup North America, Chicago

Civil Engineer Environmental Design International Inc., Chicago