Corvias and the Illinois Institute of Technology will renovate Bailey Hall in order to provide new living space for 330 freshmen and sophomores by fall semester of 2020, as part of Illinois Tech’s student housing program. The partnership is comprised of Corvias for development and management, Dirk Denison Architects for design and Gilbane Building Company for construction.
“This partnership solves for modern, sustainable housing, providing a vibrant new living experience for our first and second year students while revitalizing this historic and prominent part of our campus,” said Bruce Watts, vice president for facilities and public safety at Illinois Tech.
The project includes interior renovations and exterior facade replacement of the historic Mies Van der Rohe-designed Bailey Hall. Originally built in 1955, this nine-story, 74,000-square-foot, on-campus dormitory was decommissioned in 2007. The renovation project will incorporate 330 beds with residential common spaces on the ground floor and lower level.
“It is truly rare to have the chance to renovate a Mies building,” said Dirk Denison, an alumnus of Illinois Tech and a long-term faculty member of the College of Architecture. “We asked ourselves, how do we extend its legacy for today’s way of living?”
The approach to Bailey Hall’s interior adapts the original floor plan to the needs of students today, to foster student interactions. At ground level, residents will enter into a transparent lobby whose interior is kept spatially and materially the same as Mies’s original design. The redesign fully reconfigures the basement, taking advantage of unused space to insert an open staircase connecting the lobby with new gathering areas, shared resources, including recreation room, laundry and a collaboration space below.
Renovations provide eight levels of accessible single and double rooms arranged in a “pod” style. Each floor is conceived as a social unit defined by large study and social areas. Rooms pinwheel around these communal nodes, linked by corridors that extend all the way to the facade, offering additional daylight with city and lake views. Working with extensive energy modeling, the project also updates the building’s mechanical systems and envelope, improving efficiency, thermal comfort, safety and ease of maintenance. Denison described the new Bailey Hall as a “low-impact, healthy building.”
“By engaging Dirk Denison as architect, we arrived at a solution that thinks of the students’ needs first, enveloped in preservation and celebration of the Mies design,” said founder and CEO of Corvias, John Picerne. This partnership adds to the more than 30 public-private partnerships Corvias has in the United States.