The Downers Grove North campus is home to the original Downers Grove High School, which was constructed in 1928 to serve the growing population of this small, railroad-centered town and only served 350 students, at the time. Like many high schools of that era, the building underwent several additions over the decades to accommodate a continuously growing population. The result was a dense and landlocked site, with a proud history left largely engulfed by subsequent building additions.
Given the density of the building, the planning centered around urban strategies, where square footage could be most effectively put to use. The servery opens onto a skylit ‘alley’, the student commons is articulated as an outdoor ‘plaza’, and various student services are accessed via a ‘marketplace’ of resources. Additions that once enveloped the original high school building were removed, uncovering the rich history of the campus and restoring the original 1928 building as the centerpiece of the school.