Chicago Center for Arts and Technology (ChiCAT)

Chicago Center for Arts and Technology (ChiCAT) is a state-of-the-art school and community center in Chicago’s near west side. Based on a celebrated model developed by Bill Strickland with the Manchester Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh, the program provides after-school arts programs for youth and sector-driven vocational training for adults. In the first two years, ChiCAT will train 40 adults and 80 youth per year, and subsequently expand to train 80 adults and 140 youth per year. The rehabilitated 4-story masonry building includes a range of art-making and audience-building facilities including a performance space, an art gallery, a teaching kitchen, computer labs, art studios, a digital maker space, administrative offices, an exterior terrace, and a landscaped courtyard.

The design aims to reveal and restore the materials of the original manufacturing building including the exterior masonry and the interior concrete columns and beam while incorporating bright bursts of contemporary color. The solid walls of an existing loading dock are opened up with expansive swaths of glass curtainwall to create an inviting new entrance and gallery. Exposed mechanical equipment maintains the industrious spirit the building stock while wood slat ceilings and custom millwork provide moments of warmth.

Near West Side, Chicago, IL

Status

Completed 2017

Client

Chicago Center for Arts and Technology

Contractor

Bulley & Andrews

Consultants

Prism Engineering (Civil)

McKay Landscape Architects (Landscape)

Carsello Engineering Inc. (Structural)

dbHMS (MEP)

Shiner+ Associates (Acoustical)

Green Metric

LEED Gold

Photography

Mark Ballogg

Previous Conditions