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Project File: A new purpose

The three-story limestone Bartlett Hall at the University of Chicago originally was conceived in 1901 for the U.S. Olympic Team men's training facility. This historically significant structure was transformed into a student dining commons and collegiate hall.

The design called for a 550-seat dining hall and multipurpose event space; a central campus-production kitchen facility; a 6,000-square-foot student lounge; a two-story receiving facility and service bay that would match the historical structure; a new storage facility; new mechanical and HVAC systems; and new code and accessibility upgrades.

Modern foodservice systems, production-kitchen exhaust hoods, new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, three elevators, and a two-story addition were incorporated. The oak counters are designed to look like informally placed market tables, and to allow future flexibility and reorganization.

All windows, many of which had been removed or in-filled with glass block, had to be researched and restored. Missing and damaged leaded-glass windows were replicated and combined with low-e, double-glazed glass. A salvage program was integrated that allowed for the “harvesting” of original 100-year-old limestone that was used for repairing the existing structure and matching new stone. Other materials were saved and reused, including the wooden gymnasium floor.

Bruner/Cott & Associates (Cambridge, Mass.) is architect.

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