A building with trees in front of it. The ground level of the Plumbers Union Training Center A group of people doing tricks on a bar. A person working in a factory. A person walking on a sidewalk. A large factory machinery. Banding on the hallway wall of the Plumbers Union Training Center A warehouse with people and equipment.
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Plumbers Local 130 UA Training Center

Chicago, Illinois

The Plumbers Local 130 UA unites people, place, and process to create a training facility that attracts and inspires new generations of plumbers. Materials synonymous with the plumbing trade — copper pipe, galvanized steel, and black pipe — inspire the building’s palette. Gensler’s approach to this facility was to showcase the important work plumbers perform for every aspect of the built environment. Every pipe is displayed and fully reconfigurable, and the whole building functions as a living classroom for apprentices. Unique, purpose-built educational spaces like “hot works” classrooms and a three-story workshop, which mimics a traditional Chicago three-flat, enable apprentices to apply and test concepts learned in the classroom in a real-life scenario. These concepts, supplemented by the building’s photovoltaic and water reclamation systems, harness plumbers’ commitment to building sustainably.