Designing The David Rubenstein Forum

Session: The David Rubenstein Forum Tour

Sean GallagherProject image

Sean Gallagher
Associate Principal, Director of Sustainable Design, Diller Scofidio + Renfro
New York City

The David Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago is prominently located as a hub for neighborhood activity. Located on Chicago’s Midway Plaisance across from the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, the building addresses multiple communities with components that are stacked, rotated, and oriented not only towards the University campus and downtown Chicago, but also towards the Woodlawn neighborhood immediately south of the University campus. Large cantilevers with a minimal amount of concrete were created by the see-saw effect of the north and south cantilevers. A 40-foot cantilever—one of the longest spanning concrete cantilevers in the city—at the north entry of the building opens up the space for events and gives a signature look in the neighborhood. Establishing a connection to the natural environment was important and the design integrates bird-safe technology into its glass façade, green roofs, rain gardens, and landscape that incorporates native flora.