P+W Gets High Honor for High School in South Loop

Left to right: Mike Waldinger, Hon. AIA, AIA Illinois Exec. VP; Mike Elliott, AIA, 2015 AIA IL President; Ralph Johnson, FAIA, LEED AP, P+W Design Director; Bryan Schabel, P+W Design Principal; Dr. Joe Powers, Principal; and Art Del Muro, AIA, Managing Architect of Public Building Commission of Chicago. (Photograph by Jennifer Girard)

Left to right: Mike Waldinger, Hon. AIA, AIA Illinois Exec. VP; Mike Elliott, AIA, 2015 AIA IL President; Ralph Johnson, FAIA, LEED AP, P+W Design Director; Bryan Schabel, P+W Design Principal; Dr. Joe Powers, Principal; and Art Del Muro, AIA, Managing Architect of Public Building Commission of Chicago. (Photograph by Jennifer Girard)

By now you’ve had plenty of time to ogle the new Jones Prep High School in the South Loop.  The postmodern-with-a-touch-of-modern school runs for a block-and-a-half down State Street between West Harrison and West Polk Streets.  It replaces the brutalist cube that went into service in 1967 and still stands at 700 South State Street.

William Jones College Preparatory High School (Photograph by Steinkamp Photography)

William Jones College Preparatory High School (Photograph by Steinkamp Photography)

For its work on the new school, Chicago’s own Perkins+Will has been awarded the 2015 Mies van der Rohe Honor Award by the Illinois AIA.  Details on this achievement from the American Institute of Architect’s press release:

the Illinois Honor Awards national jury noted the purposeful connection between the school and the city, saying, “The school was obviously carefully conceived and articulated, inside and out, to take maximum advantage of a very tight site.”

Perkins + Will embraced the challenge of the compact urban site – only 100 x 400 ft – and vertically dispersed a 278,000 gross square foot program over eight occupied floors. Together with the renovation of the existing school next door, the new building nearly doubles the capacity of the high-performing public school, and is filled with light and open spaces for learning and congregating. The design team is currently pursuing a LEED Gold certification.

“William Jones College Preparatory High School presented an opportunity to expand the possibilities for urban education design. The compact site necessitated an intimate relationship between the school and the surrounding downtown context, allowing Perkins+Will to collaborate closely with Chicago Public Schools, the Public Building Commission, and other parties vested in creating a cutting-edge, 21st century learning environment. This urban education model is especially significant as urban populations increase, land resources become scarcer, and innovative solutions to our education needs continue to grow,” said Perkins+Will Global Design Director Ralph Johnson, FAIA, LEED AP.

“The world-class facility at Jones provides an elite education environment that allows our students and staff to thrive,” said Forrest Claypool, CEO of Chicago Public Schools . “Thanks to the innovative, dynamic space, one of the top high schools in the state will continue to provide our students the skills and resources they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Location: 700 South State Street, South Loop

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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