the university of chicago has announced that diller scofidio + renfro (DS+R), has been chosen to design the ‘david m. rubenstein forum’, a new facility for collaboration to be located at the southeast corner of woodlawn avenue and 60th street. set to be complete by 2018, the forum will host conferences, workshops, lectures and ceremonies alongside other impromptu gatherings. DS+R’s brief is to blend formal meeting spaces with opportunities for informal interaction in order to both support and promote inquiry, and facilitate the open exchange of ideas.


as our first building in chicago, the rubenstein forum presents a unique challenge: to imagine a contemporary place of discourse for all of the university’s constituent departments and institutes as well as invited scholars and dignitaries from around the world,’ commented DR+R’s elizabeth diller. ‘the new building will combine a variety of spaces, both formal and informal, large and small, calm and animated, focused and diffuse, scheduled and spontaneous. the forum’s unique position on the midway will allow for expansive views toward the campus and surrounding communities as well as downtown chicago and lake michigan.’


diller scofidio + renfro brings exceptional talent and vision to the design of this important addition to our campus,’ explained university of chicago president robert j. zimmer. ‘the forum will reinforce and enhance the convening power of the university and its role as a leading intellectual destination. we are pleased to be able to recognize david rubenstein for his wonderful generosity by naming this important building in his honor.’


our selection of diller scofidio + renfro to design the rubenstein forum signals the great importance we are placing on the way the building will function,’ added david fithian, executive vice president and senior administrator overseeing the project. ‘we want this building to promote an experience that enhances the work to be done within its walls and not just stand as a neutral container of activities.’


DS+R’s previous and ongoing architecture projects include new york’s high line park, the broad museum, which recently opened in los angeles, and the united states olympic museum in colorado springs. the studio’s recent art projects include ‘musings on a glass box‘, an immersive installation for the fondation cartier.


photo by abe morrell