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Primera to Engineer The University of Chicago’s New David M. Rubenstein Forum
Primera to Engineer The University of Chicago’s New David M. Rubenstein Forum

The University of Chicago recently announced that Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), an international design firm based in New York City, will design the David M. Rubenstein Forum, a new facility for convening and collaboration. As part of the DS+R team, Primera will be responsible for the mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), and life safety design of the new building as well as code consulting and energy modeling services with façade optimization support.

“Our selection of [the] Diller Scofidio + Renfro [team] to design the Rubenstein Forum,” explained David Fithian, executive vice president, “signals the great importance we are placing on the way the building will function. We want this building to promote an experience that enhances the work to be done within its walls and not just stand as a neutral container of activities.” Fithian is the senior administrator overseeing the project.

The David M. Rubenstein Forum will be a signature building for the University of Chicago and will be the next step in transforming the area south of the Midway known as Campus South. The new sustainable venue will respond to a longstanding need for on-campus meeting space, designed to create collaborative, thought-provoking experiences for faculty, visiting scholars, University leaders, and students. The Rubenstein Forum will be located within a site that occupies approximately three acres at the southeast corner of Woodlawn Avenue and 60th Street.

We’re excited for the opportunity to work with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on this unique project for a long-standing client of ours.” said Ken Panucci, Primera’s Senior Vice President and Buildings Division Manager. “We’ve built a great relationship with the University over the past 15 years and look forward to contributing our engineering expertise to this important addition to the Campus South revitalization,” he continues.

Primera has provided a host of engineering design and consulting services on more than 50 projects at the University of Chicago, including campus-wide utility master planning, master planning for the renewal of the main quadrangle, Earl Shapiro Hall, Palevsky Residence & Dining Hall, Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, the renovation of IDA Noyes Hall, and the currently-under-construction Campus North Residence Hall and Dining Commons.

Targeted for completion in 2018, the Rubenstein Forum will host conferences, workshops, lectures, ceremonies and other gatherings. It is named for University Trustee David M. Rubenstein, JD’73, in recognition of a new, significant gift as well as his history of generosity and ongoing support to the University.

Primera to Engineer The University of Chicago’s New David M. Rubenstein Forum

The new Forum's unique position on the Midway will allow for expansive views toward the campus and surrounding communities as well as downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan. Image © The University of Chicago; Photo by Tom Rossiter (main); The building will be named after University Trustee and Carlyle Group co-CEO David Rubenstein (above).