The Language Center reinvigorates this important historic structure designed by Henry Ives Cobb in 1982. The Center is unique in its variety of teaching settings, which cater to contemporary language study, and to the multi-use needs of various groups.

The Center is organized around a focal point and reception area that is surrounded by teaching pods, flexible conference spaces, classrooms and faculty offices. The arrangements vary from 34- to 18-people classrooms to teaching pods for two to five people, which are also used as flex offices and small conference spaces.  Each space is outfitted with A/V equipment, special writable wall finishes and glass enclosures, and movable furniture to provide for multi-use of various functions for different group sizes.

Faculty offices are designed as open workstations using organic shaped Herman Miller Resolve modules. The south end of the Center accommodates the multipurpose auditorium, reconfigurable into two and three smaller conference rooms with special furniture selected to fold and decorate the walls when the room converts to its biggest size. LED kinetic light brings life to the lobby during holidays and identity to signage and space on a daily basis. The openness and visual connection between spaces foster collaborative spirit of teaching and research.

Awards and Recognitions

  • “The Revolution in Learning Spaces Design: Case Studies of How Technology, Nature and New Teaching Ideas Shape the Modern Classroom” (Course No. T276), NeoCon 2014, Chicago
  • “Center to provide ‘public square’ for discussion of languages,” The University of Chicago Chronicle, 2006

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