An Urban Catalyst for Creativity

School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Campus Master Plan, Chicago, IL

Recognized as “the most influential art college in the United States” by Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism survey, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) currently occupies 11 buildings in its downtown Chicago campus. SAIC commissioned us to develop a strategic master plan which would decrease its dependency on leased space, reflect the inter-disciplinary foundation of the school’s pedagogy, and provide greater connectivity to the surrounding urban community. The plan was guided by the school’s vision:

Our campus can be a beacon for artistic development and exchange, a rich and complex catalyst at the forefront of creative inquiry.

The one million square foot plan strategically re-aligns SAIC’s existing assets, re-purposing four current facilities to serve tomorrow’s needs. In addition, a new iconic facility is proposed to replace current leased space in multiple buildings which can right-size the campus through significantly greater efficiency and utilization, providing the “right kind of space” in the “right place.” Over 500 members of the SAIC community participated in the strategic planning process.

The campus proposed by this plan will not just benefit the School community, it will positively impact the lives of everyone in Chicago and across the globe who experience our transformative creativity and scholarship.

Dr. Walter E. Massey, President SAIC

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