University of Chicago Crerar Science Quadrangle


2019 Merit Award


Chicago, IL



Landscape Architects

Jacobs/Ryan Associates

Project Details

Thoughtful landscape design is a defining aspect of the campus environment at the University of Chicago and its impact is experienced daily by students, faculty and staff.  In 2016, the University selected the Crerar Science Quadrangle be updated to provide more functional and directional movement, and to create a remarkable, eye-catching place expressive of the surrounding science buildings, cohesively blending the built and natural environment.  Design commenced with exploration of inspirational images and led to collaboration between Jacobs/Ryan Associates and the University Office of the President and Facilities Services.  Early concepts developed a suspended lighted circle which, though impactful and impressive, did not meet the University’s lighting standards.  A collaborative and iterative process gave way to custom, double-ringed LED lights, suspended on catenary cables from four posts positioned around a square plaza and a circular planting of groundcover and trees. The popular project was featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine, 01/2019, and was also selected for 2019 awards by the Illuminating Engineering Society and the American Architecture Award® which honors new and cutting-edge design.

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