Check out the University of Illinois-Chicago new $100m living & learning complex

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UIC has a new living and learning complex right in the city, Chicago.

By U2B Staff 

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Freshman students starting at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus next month will be in for a treat, as nearly 550 will be moving into its student accommodation with a difference. The state-of-the-art Academic and Residential Complex offers students the opportunity to take classes in new spaces that foster learning through technology and collaborative design.

After a year and half of construction, the UIC’s latest facility is open for business right in the heart of Chicago. The US$100 million structure is no ordinary accommodation, it provides a mixed-use space where students can both live and learn. It is divided into a two-story academic building and a 10-story residence hall. Students will begin moving into the building’s 548 beds in August.


The complex contains three large lecture spaces, four classrooms, several small group study rooms, a fitness centre, laundry facility, and a top-floor “sky lounge” overlooking the Chicago skyline beyond.

The building is designed with sustainability in mind and reaches the green standards of a LEED Gold award. Chicago-based architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SMC) are behind the design, including the green roof and other design additions to optimise sustainability. The group conceived the project as a “nod to Netsch,” the original architect of UIC’s 1960s-era campus.

The facility was part of a public-private partnership with American Campus Communities, America’s largest developer, owner, and manager of high-quality student housing communities.

“This new complex serves as a beacon that illuminates UIC’s growth and burgeoning role as Chicago’s leader in higher education, workforce development and intellectual thought,” UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said in a press release.

“By thinking creatively and utilising a public-private partnership, we are able to provide a much-needed complex for our students with state-of-the-art amenities to enhance their learning experience in the heart of a world-class city.”


The university is expanding and it needs facilities to keep up with the growth. UIC reports its projected number of new students is expected to climb by as many as 10,000 over the next decade and, bucking the national trend, this year’s enrolment numbers are projected to continue to reach record levels for the fifth-straight year.

To keep up with demand and ensure its students get the best possible opportunities, UIC is adding more to their property portfolio with two more major developments expected to join the Academic and Residential Complex.

Work continues on the new Engineering Innovation Building, and the college recently selected OMA and KOO Architecture to design its upcoming US$95 million Centre of the Arts, planned as a neighbour to the newest residential complex.