Toyota Technical Institute
This 31,000 sf facility occupies the top two floors of a five-story former phone switching station on the University of Chicago campus. The program for the extensive interior renovation required 40+ offices, 44 work stations, and multiple classrooms. A library, robotics lab, conference rooms, and a café were also incorporated into the building. The design focuses on promoting the sharing of research and ideas among all occupants in an environment that is visually dynamic thereby attracting the best minds in theoretical math research.
While the existing footprint lends itself to a continuous circulation loop, the design solution introduces angular bridges linked by a staircase that floats in the central atrium. This sculptural element provides dramatic visual connections and improves efficiency. At the bridge arrival points, 'idea lounges' allow conversations to continue with marker boards and comfortable seating.