Daley College Manufacturing, Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC)
Owner: City Colleges of Chicago
Lead Design Firm: JGMA
General Contractor: Old Veteran Construction
Architect of Record: Cannon Design
Structural/MEP Engineer: Cannon Design
Civil Engineer: David Mason + Associates
Landscape Architect: Terry Guen Design Associates
Lighting Designer: Aurora Lighting Design
The design strategy for Daley College’s Manufacturing, Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC) included a focus on transparency as it highlights the machines, equipment and products integral to the objective of the college: providing city youth with the technical training necessary for careers in manufacturing and engineering.
The building’s glass and steel walls also provide a visual connection to the surrounding West Lawn community, a primarily minority neighborhood that is home to many of the students. The lower portion of the elevated quad that runs across the whole campus is intentionally yellow, which brings with it a safety message. The quad above leads students through a combination of exterior and interior learning spaces that create a new entrance for both the MTEC and the campus itself. It touches the corner of the campus’ main building that the project team is now working on renovating.
“Bridging across 76th Street and thinking about where we touch the old building, it was important to touch it at the corner because when you do so, there’s a blurring of where one [building] stops and one starts,” says Juan Moreno, president of JGMA. “You’re changing the aperture of view of what is Daley College.”
The existing main building had to remain open while contractor Old Veteran Construction built the MTEC. The site was the campus’ main parking lot for students and also the place where most students crossed the street over a bridge. Old Veteran had to safely recirculate student traffic, construct the new bridge and link it to the existing building.
Construction of the bridge added complexity to the job because the contractor had to coordinate closing the road and construction activities with the Chicago Dept. of Transportation. Despite building over an active road, the project was completed on time and on budget.