Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies

Address: South Michigan Avenue 610 | CHICAGO-ILLINOIS | United States | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 41.8739, -87.6245

The Spertus Institute selected Krueck and Sexton to design a signature architectural statement about the nature of Jewish culture and learning.

The new facility for Spertus is a mixed-use program containing exhibition galleries, library, 400-seat multi-use auditorium, college classrooms and administrative offices. It expresses the values of openness, transparency and hospitality. An unabashedly contemporary design, Spertus is set in a 19th Century streetscape of masonry buildings designed by historic names such as Burnham, Sullivan, and Holabird and Roche.

Fundamental to Jewish religious and intellectual traditions is the role of light. The facade is composed of folded glass planes and will glow with light, both natural and man-made, revealing the inner dynamic and energy of the multi-disciplinary programs of this eighty-year old institution.

Through a variety of measures, including high performance lighting and demand base ventilation, the building achieves a 29reduction in energy consumption, resulting in over 300 tons of avoided CO2 per year. Water-saving fixtures are used throughout. The quality of the building’s indoor air is ensured by the use of healthy materials, high-efficiency air filtration, and special humidity controls, providing for the well-being of staff, students, and visitors, as well as the long-term preservation of the Institute’s archival treasures.

Modulating the scale of the building, the glass folds relate the Spertus facade to the numerous bays, windows, cornices and other projections found on the magnificent Michigan Avenue street wall. Spertus will join only a handful of public buildings on the Avenue. In this important role, the open character of the facade will welcome visitor to explore the many treasures within.


⇒ Architecture Guide to CHICAGO-ILLINOIS