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Columbia College Chicago, Learning Commons and Façade Replacement

Chicago, Illinois

This 10-story building on South Michigan Avenue, across from Chicago’s historic Grant Park, houses Columbia College Chicago classrooms, offices, and a variety of gallery and assembly spaces. To showcase the building’s architectural history in its contemporary urban context, Gensler modernized its exterior, replacing an outdated, inefficient curtain wall with a modern glass façade. Printed onto the glass in a dot-matrix pattern is a ghosted image of the building’s original historic terra cotta façade. Because the building is situated within a major flyway, each “dot” resembles a small graphic of a bird, reducing the likelihood of migrating birds colliding with the building.