One result of our ever-growing urban population is that colleges are challenging the definition of “the college campus” experience. Without an abundant horizontal space to accommodate growing numbers of students, university administrations are increasingly looking to the sky to create integrated buildings where collaboration, discussion, socialization and learning take place. These new “vertical campuses” often rely on elevators to create a space where students and staff move smoothly throughout different “neighborhoods” of their day.
Roosevelt University’s recently-opened, Wabash Building is a perfect example of a vertical campus. Overlooking Chicago’s Grant Park and Lake Michigan, the 32-story building is currently the second-tallest academic building in the nation and the sixth tallest in the world. The building creates a truly unique campus experience by combining classrooms, laboratories, offices, dorm rooms, a dining hall, fitness facilities and student services all under one roof. By going vertical, the administration was able to successfully increase classroom space at its Chicago Campus by 40 percent.
Tucked out of sight, elevators played an important role in making the building possible during both design and execution. One of the challenges with a vertical campus is making the building’s core as efficient as possible. In total, five KONE MonoSpace® elevators and five KONE EcoSystem MR™ elevators were installed in the building. KONE’s machine room-less solutions allowed architects to stack the residential elevators in the same core space as the elevators which serve the classrooms, staff offices and student services, thus maximizing the space available for educational purposes.
KONE elevators were also large enough and fast enough to meet the unique people flow requirements of a vertical campus, as class schedules require large numbers of students and staff to be moved during small windows of time. A total of six elevators service the heavily-used lower bank of elevators, which provide service to various student functions such as the bookstore, student services, dining, fitness facilities, as well as provides additional service to the main lecture hall floor.
We are proud to have played a role in one of the newest buildings to Chicago’s educational and architecture landscape, and look forward to helping provide eco-efficient solutions for many more vertical campuses.