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Case Study: University of Chicago Saieh Hall For Economics

History Maintained with Modern Efficiency using Hope’s® custom, handcrafted hot-rolled solid steel windows.
Case_SaiehHall_01 (Credit to Tom Rossiter Photography)

The University of Chicago’s Saieh Hall for Economics occupies a full city block and represents the finest in adaptive reuse expertise thanks, in part, to Hope’s® custom, handcrafted hot-rolled solid steel windows.

The first phase of the project transformed what had been the Chicago Theological Seminary – an iconic red-bricked structure built in 1928 – into a 100,000-square foot building that preserves the beauty and grandeur of the historic original while updating it with 21st-century features and efficiencies.

The project involved the replacement of 307 windows. These included the installation of Hope’s Jamestown175™ Series 45-minute fire rated fixed windows and swing doors; Jamestown175 Series non-fire rated fixed windows and swing doors; and Landmark175™ Series side hung-in casement ventilators with custom 1-3/4″ frame sightlines to match existing windows.

The strength of the steel window sections are ideal for projects requiring large glass lites and narrow sightlines.

Case_SaiehHall_02 (Credit to Tom Rossiter Photography)

“Hope’s windows improve building performance and maintain the historic character of the building,” says Katie Gerner, Associate, AIA, LEED AP, of Ann Beha Architects, Boston, MA.

The project started in 2010 with a preservation assessment to analyze the conditions of the building’s historic features, including the windows.

“A window mock-up was performed during the design phase of the project to test different treatment options for aesthetics, performance, technical feasibility and cost,” Gerner says.

The project’s Phase I achieved LEED Gold and has received rave reviews. The Chicago Tribune declared, “The marriage of the old seminary and its new occupants seems like a match made in architecture heaven.”

The University of Chicago’s website describes the building this way: “The adapted site features a Gothic entryway, gardens and outdoor seating, as well as creative use of light and glass. The property now includes four buildings: the original 1928 Chicago Theological Seminary building, two landmark row houses…and a new piece of contemporary architecture to connect the buildings, integrating new and old.”

Saieh Hall incorporates 77,000 square feet of repurposed space and 23,000 square feet of expansion. The Phase I overall construction cost was $54 million.

The new hall is named in honor of one of the University’s trustees, Alvaro Saieh, in recognition of his significant donation for a new home for the Department of Economics and the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.

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