David Rubenstein Forum



The David M. Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago is a space of discourse and intellectual exchange aimed at fostering the outward engagement of visiting scholars, researchers and dignitaries from around the world. The Forum's prominent location on Chicago’s Midway Plaisance across from Rockefeller Chapel offers expansive views of Downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan as well as the University Campus and Woodlawn Community. The building is composed of a two-story base and a slender, eight-story tower that provides the University with a 285-seat auditorium and much needed multipurpose meeting spaces for workshops, symposia and lectures, among other activities. 

The tower is organized as a stack of neighborhoods with meeting and communal spaces offering diverse environments—formal and informal, calm and animated, focused and diffused, scheduled and spontaneous. Each neighborhood coalesces around a private social lounge that offers a sense of community and identity. The neighborhoods are vertically stacked, rotated and oriented to their own unique perspective of Chicago, creating a panoramic, 360 degree form rather than a front or back face.

The building prompts its varied populations to cross paths with one another where possible to enhance intellectual exchange. The lower floors of the Rubenstein Forum are porous and dynamic with connections to the campus and the community in all directions. As one climbs the building, there is a progressive retreat from the everyday to more contemplative spaces with dramatic views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.

More information can be found here.

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Project information
ClientUniversity of ChicagoSize (GSF)97000
Location         Chicago, United States
Commission2015Construction Begins2018Structure Completed2019
Facade Completed2020Construction Completed2020
PartnersCharles Renfro,Elizabeth Diller,Benjamin Gilmartin,and Ricardo Scofidio
Project DirectorSean Gallagher
Project DesignerGiannantonio Bongiorno
Competition LeadKevin Rice and Charles Curran
Project TeamCharles Blanchard,Eduardo Ponce,​Seongbeom Mo​,Jing Xu,Dino Kiratzidis,Ema Hana Kacar,Alessandro Scognamiglio,Andrés Macera,Shiwoo Yu,and Kimball Kaiser
External credits
Brininstool + LynchAssociate Architect
PrimeraMEP/FP/ Code/ Life Safety/ Energy Consultant
LERA Consulting Structural EngineersStructural Engineer
Turner ConstructionConstruction Manager (Design) and General Contractor (Construction)
Thornton TomasettiFacade Consultant
Site Design Group, Ltd.Landscape Consultant
Terra EngineeringCivil Consultant
Threshold AcousticsAcoustic/AV/ IT Consultant
Tillotson Design AssociatesLighting Consultant
Syska HennessyVertical Transportation
Cini-LittleFood Consultant
HJKessler AssociatesLEED Consultant
Construction SpecificationsSpecifications Consultant
Dharam ConsultingCost Estimator
Simpson Gumpertz & HegerWaterproofing
Specialty ConstructionInterior steel stairs fabrication
Tuschall Engineering Company, Inc.Zinc rainscreen fabrication and installation
    Photography by Photography by Brett Beyer