The building – which cost 48 million dollars – is distinguished by an enormous cylinder, 161 metres long and clad in stainless steel which surrounds the elevated railway line and makes for a painless crossing of the southern part of the campus.
“The elevated has a huge impact on ITT’s character”, explains Koolhaas “it demanded an innovative technological concept for the train enclosure for an institution devoted to technology”. The tube, which sits on the concrete roof of the Campus Center, is able to combat the sound and vibrations created by the passing of the trains.
The building covers a floor area of over 10 000 square metres and is one storey high, surrounded by transparent glass walls and housing offices for student organisations, a library, bar and other recreational facilities. The Dutch architect has been working on the project since 1998, in collaboration with Chicago practices Holabird & Root and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill to develop the building. Structural calculations were carried out by the London office of Ove Arup whilst acoustic consultants were TNO in Eindhoven and Kierkegaard Engineers at Downers Grove.
Photography by Richard Barnes