Gwendolyn Brooks college preparatory academy
DeStefano + Partners
Architect of Record
BLDD/Brook Architecture Joint Venture
Bill Conner Associates
This addition to a historic Chicago Public School includes an athletic wing, with a competition gymnasium, fitness center and natatorium, a library, a distance learning lab, and a performing arts wing with a 500-seat auditorium, rehearsal and practice space for band and chorus. The facilities meet LEED for Schools standards, and further take advantage of the green roof systems to eliminate rain noise and provide useful acoustic mass for the performing arts spaces.
The auditorium has fixed acoustics that hit the sweet spot, supporting drama as well as choral and instrumental music without variable elements, though an orchestra shell completes the room for music performance. Controls for the sound systems employ a picture of the room, allowing even novice users to operate the underwater and gymnasium AV systems with confidence, no matter if they’re working a swimming competition, graduation, or pumping up a crowd during sporting events.