Levy Senior Center

Architect: Ross Barney + Jankowski
Location: Evanston, Illinois

The building is a 23,000sf showcase for natural lighting and passive solar control.  Glass enclosed pavilions contain classrooms and meeting rooms.  A translucent fiberglass skin allows diffused light to enter the main multipurpose room.   Sweeping roofs and wood wall shutters protect occupants from glare and the heat of direct sun radiation.


Working seamlessly with the architect’s design intent, distinguishing structural characteristics of the building include combining the use of distinct materials: exposed peeled wood pole columns and steel frame elements.  Because so much of the structure is exposed, the design of the connections of these elements required special detailing in both form and function.


The configuration of the building is a four-sided ring surrounding an open courtyard.  More than half of the roofs and soffits on the structure slope three dimensionally such that the ridges and eaves vary in elevation and are not parallel to each other.  The interior courtyard provides additional activity space for the Senior Center program, and the building is scaled to complement the residences across the street.

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