Campus North Residential Commons

The signature facility, which houses roughly 800 undergraduates, is designed around the University's distinctive Houses, with an emphasis on building community. Located just north of Henry Crown Field house at the corner of 55th Street and University Avenue, This building created a new gateway connecting the University to the Hyde Park community to the north and enhancing pedestrian flow. 

University officials unveiled the design and architect for the facility in July of 2013. Studio Gang Architects, led by renowned Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, has been selected to design the new residence hall and dining commons. They will collaborate with Mortenson Construction on the project, which is expected to open in 2016.

Building Community

This new facility represents an opportunity to tailor a major residence hall and dining commons to the University’s distinctive Houses. The Houses flow from the notion that learning is not a solitary venture and does not end at the classroom door. Houses build lifelong friendships and promote the constant exchange of ideas that is a key part of the University’s culture. From shared entryways to House lounges, reading rooms to classrooms to dining commons – even the outdoor spaces -- everything about the Studio Gang design sets a new standard for how a facility can support our particular vision for community. 

The residence hall includes eight houses of approximately 100 students each, with first- through fourth-year students living together. Each house is structured around a three-story lounge, where students can meet, study, and relax. The buislding includes special accommodations for third- and fourth-year students seeking a more independent living experience, including private rooms and kitchen facilities; at the same time, that allow them to take part in the development of strong communities and friendships with fellow students and staff. 

In keeping with Housing & Residence Life tradition, Resident Deans and Resident Heads will live with the undergraduate students. They will cultivate the communities within each house by organizing trips around the city and extending classroom learning through lectures, programs, and events.

Tables in the Frank and Laura Baker Dining Commons are likewise organized by House, allowing the members of each community to eat their meals with friends while looking out over green courtyards. Other unique spaces, such as the top-floor reading room, respond to student needs while offering gathering spaces with panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan, and surrounding neighborhoods. The building also features a small number of retail spaces, offices, music practice rooms, study rooms, and classrooms.

 

Architecture

The design focuses on creating vibrant student communities within the residence halls, connected to a series of new, active public green spaces and environments. The building is the newest addition to the campus’ rich architectural legacy, including the traditional Collegiate Gothic quadrangles; modernist landmarks by renowned architects like Eero Saarinen and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; and contemporary facilities such as Rafael Viñoly’s Charles M. Harper Center, Helmut Jahn’s Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, and Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s recently opened Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

The University also chose the Studio Gang design for its elegant and imaginative use of the land between Greenwood and University avenues, and 55th Street and the Henry Crown Field House. In addition to the new building, the space includes lawns, paths, and recreation areas, opening up the area to the University community and surrounding neighborhood.

Architect Jeanne Gang provides more in-depth information about the facility's architecture in this video


Video Tour

Architect Jeanne Gang describes the facility's design.


Photo Galleries


James and Jeannie Evans

Resident Deans

James and Jeannie Evans fill their lives with adventure; they enjoy everything from snowshoeing through Jackson and Washington Parks to swimming in Lake Michigan, as James has even been known to do in the winter. As Resident Deans in UChicago’s newest residence hall, Campus North Residential Commons, the couple will share their love of adventure and the city of Chicago while connecting with students and their passions. 

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Steven and Gretchen Rings

Resident Deans

Steven (Steve) and Gretchen Rings have called Chicago their home for the past 11 years and are eager to share their passion for the city. The Rings will be Resident Deans at UChicago’s newest residence hall, Campus North Residential Commons. 

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History

Campus North Residential Commons, commissioned in Summer 2013, sits on the site previously occupied by North Field and Pierce Tower and Dining Commons. All Pierce residents, in four House communities, were relocated to existing campus housing at International House and New Graduate Residence Hall. With the closure of Pierce Dining Commons, space and dining program adaptations were made in the summer of 2013 to the other two dining commons, Cathey and Barlett, to meet dining capacity.

Campus and Student Life, Housing & Residence Life worked closely with students and stakeholders, particularly the Pierce Tower Workgroup, Pierce Tower Council, resident staff and House communities, on the transition process. A celebration of the Pierce Tower community took place in September 2013. Memories and messages were also collected from current students and alumni on a Facebook page honoring the facility. 

Getting Around

Campus North Residential Commons is located in the northern part of campus, a few minute walk from the main Quadrangles. Together with Smart Museum and Court Theatre, Ratner Athletic Center, and the Henry Crown Field House, the project will transform this key area as an important, attractive, and inviting gateway to the campus. 

Total Hall Residents: 800

Room Arrangements

Campus North Residential Commons will feature double, single, and apartment style rooms. Each House will span three floors with centrally located community space that touches all three floors. Community bathrooms will be located on each floor, along with at least one private single-user bathroom per House.

Average House Floor Plan

Amenities

  • 15th floor reading room with spectacular views of lakefront and University
  • Music practice rooms
  • Study rooms
  • Two residential courtyards
  • Two centrally located common rooms for programs and events
  • Ground level commercial venues that bring new retail to campus community
  • Two classrooms with seating for 40 students
  • State-of-the-art dining commons open to campus and surrounding community
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