As Illinois gets closer to fully reopening, larger scale meetings and events will once again be allowed soon according to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “It’s time to begin to cautiously move to normalcy, and it’s imperative that we do so in a way that maintains all of the progress that we’ve made to date,” Pritzker said Thursday. “Moving forward, Illinois will advance toward normalcy with a dial-like approach, allowing us to dial up as things are improving1.” Currently, all regions in the State of Illinois are in Phase 4, which limits gatherings to 50 people or less. While a new Bridge Phase was recently introduced, allowing for more people at some civic/cultural institutions and other businesses, it is one step closer to Phase 5 where there are no more capacity limits.
While we anxiously await the day we’ll experience large gatherings again, the meetings and events landscape may look a bit different than we remember. One positive change is the striking new David Rubenstein Forum located on the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus. This recently completed Primera project brings much needed meeting and event space to the University and to the local community. The unique building is a 10-story, 97,000 square foot structure that contains multipurpose rooms, a 185-seat auditorium, a Board Room, demonstration kitchen, and several pre-function spaces with connecting levels.
Primera has long been invested in seeing this project through completion. Having originally submitted our proposal to provide MEP/FP, energy modeling, life safety design and code consulting services six years ago, we are proud to have worked closely with the entire project team since then to see it completed successfully. Primera’s scope for this project included engineer of record design for HVAC, electrical, plumbing, life safety and fire protection systems. Our team also provided code analysis support, addressing local code issues such as ADA, fixture counts, egress requirements, fire department access, and fire separation. Finally, Primera provided energy services, developing the whole building energy model, including façade analysis optimization and life cycle cost analysis of various system options.
The Rubenstein Forum was designed by internationally renowned design firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). It combines a variety of spaces, both formal and informal, large and small, calm and animated, focused and diffused, scheduled and spontaneous. Its spaces offer breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan and are now taking inquiries for future events (following COVID-19 guidelines). More information can be found here.
Photography © Angie McMonigal