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Design Unveiled for Primera’s World-Class Innovation Hub Project
Design Unveiled for Primera’s World-Class Innovation Hub Project

Last week, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and the University of Illinois’ Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) unveiled the design for the new headquarters in The 78, a vibrant new innovation district along the Chicago River.

Primera is providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) and fire protection engineering design services for the new $250-million, eight-story, world-class innovation hub. The layered steel-and-glass structure’s unique floorplates and large soaring atrium necessitate complex engineering solutions from our HVAC and fire protection experts. Located on a one-acre site southwest of the Loop, the new DPI headquarters will provide more than 200,000 square feet of office, classroom, lab, and event space for DPI and its university and industry partners. The base which features a stunning atrium will be populated with space that will be shared with the public.

“This new building is a testament to the innovation and forward-thinking ideas Illinois aims to foster across the state,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “The future headquarters will also show how much we can do to grow and progress when we invest in infrastructure that pushes us forward. That was the mission of Rebuild Illinois, and the funds coming from this plan continue to positively shape diverse communities throughout the state.”

The State of Illinois is committing $500 million in capital funding to launch the University of Illinois System-led DPI and establish its Innovation Network at regional universities throughout the state. The project is expected to break ground in 2024, becoming the first building to begin construction in The 78 Innovation District. The facility will mark the beginning of a transformation that will connect the South Loop and Chinatown, filling a 62-acre void that has long separated them.

Architecture firms OMA and Jacobs are leading the design and the Illinois Capital Development Board is overseeing design and construction. Related Midwest, the developer of The 78, donated the land for DPI and will oversee the continued buildout of the 62-acre property.

“Our interdisciplinary team believes strongly in a collaborative approach to design, and with a long history of working together, we know how to approach the unique and exciting challenges of the project — elevating the process and the outcomes,” says Kitts Christov, Vice President at Jacobs. “OMA/Jacobs, and our partners, are truly honored to be leading this legacy project that will create enduring social and economic value to our communities, the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area, and the State of Illinois.”

Design Unveiled for Primera’s World-Class Innovation Hub Project

The soaring social atrium (rendered above) and unique floorplates of the new eight-story, world-class innovation hub require complex engineering solutions from Primera's HVAC and fire protection experts.