The University of Chicago is an urban research university that is considered one of the leading institutions in the world. As part of Campus and Student Life, the University’s Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) operation provides students with access to physical, mental, and social health resources. SHCS is comprised of three departments: Student Health Service, Student Counseling Service, and Health Promotion and Wellness. Historically, these departments and their services have operated independently and were housed in different locations on campus.

With the goal of taking a more holistic, integrative approach to providing health services to their students, the University sought a partner who could help them create a facility that would bring these three departments and their services together to enhance student care. The Student Wellness Center was completed in 2020 during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The project includes a new addition to the building that infills an existing courtyard, and the renovation of two wings of an existing historic hospital. Elements of the original building were captured within the new space, and the addition meets the original stone walls through a delicate touch of continuous glass skylights. The new glass façade is visible through the historic entrance colonnade, and juxtaposes elements from different eras in a cohesive, contemporary manner. The facility incorporates principles of health and wellness, sustainability, and best practices for medical planning. Wight’s integrated team of architecture, engineering, and construction management delivered this project a full two years ahead of the University’s original schedule. The project received a LEED Gold certification by the USGBC.

University of Chicago Student Wellness Center clinic check in area
University of Chicago Student Wellness Center light filled corridor

Project Facts

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Project Completion: 2020
  • Project Area: 28,000 GSF
  • Number of Stories: 1
  • Services: Architecture (Design & AOR), Interior Design, Structural Engineering, Construction Management
University of Chicago Student Wellness Center view of original building via skylight corridor
University of Chicago Student Wellness Center waiting area historic building