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Gary Comer Youth Center

Chicago, Illinois, USA


John Ronan Architect, Architect, Chicago, IL
Schuler Shook, Theatre Consultants, Chicago, IL

Project Awards

2007 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence, 1st Place
2007 Chicago Building Congress, Merit Award for New Construction
2007 Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, American Architecture Awards Winner
2007 Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd., Distinguished Building, American Architecture Awards
2006 Mayor Daley’s Landscape Award, 1st Place Green Roof Division

Project Description

The Gary Comer Youth Center, located on the South Side of Chicago, holds an activity, performance and education center for area youth. At its core, lies a gymnasium where the South Shore Drill Team practices and performs. Flexible, the gym quickly converts to a 600-seat theatre with an 80-foot wide by 30-foot deep stage. In the gym mode, portable basketball hoops can be set up around the perimeter. In the performance mode, motorized telescoping seat and wool serge banners are deployed to control reflections and reverberation time. The banners also function as blackout shades and giant sliding partitions open to connect the transformed gym space to the stage. The facility also includes music and band rooms, a small recording suite, classrooms and offices. Energy conservation features skylights which draw natural light into the gymnasium/theatre; and a courtyard roof garden hosting plants and vegetation. See more about the Roof Garden here. Kirkegaard’s scope of work focused on room acoustics and mechanical noise control in the sound sensitive spaces.

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