Perkins+Will to Receive Statewide Design Award for Innovation for Jones College Prep in Chicago

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Perkins+Will’s mastery of the design for William Jones College Preparatory High School in downtown Chicago is being recognized with an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Illinois Honor Award for innovation in overall design concept or detail. The 2015 Mies van der Rohe Honor Award will be presented during a 1:15 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 3 in the Theater Auditorium at Jones College Prep, located at 700 South State Street in Chicago.

William Jones College Preparatory Academy By Perkins+Will

This urban education model is especially significant as urban populations increase, land resources become scarcer, and innovative solutions to our education needs continue to grow,” said Perkins+Will Global Design Director Ralph Johnson, FAIA, LEED AP.

The 2015 Mies van der Rohe Honor Award will be presented during a 1:15 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 3 in the Theater Auditorium at Jones College Prep, located at 700 South State Street in Chicago. Guests will include participants from Harvard Design: Chicago, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Alumni + Friends Weekend, taking place from Oct. 1-3.

In making the award, the Illinois Honor Awards national jury noted the purposeful connection between the school and the city, saying, “The school was obviously carefully conceived and articulated, inside and out, to take maximum advantage of a very tight site."

Perkins + Will embraced the challenge of the compact urban site – only 100 x 400 ft – and vertically dispersed a 278,000 gross square foot program over eight occupied floors. Together with the renovation of the existing school next door, the new building nearly doubles the capacity of the high-performing public school, and is filled with light and open spaces for learning and congregating. The design team is currently pursuing a LEED Gold certification.

“William Jones College Preparatory High School presented an opportunity to expand the possibilities for urban education design. The compact site necessitated an intimate relationship between the school and the surrounding downtown context, allowing Perkins+Will to collaborate closely with Chicago Public Schools, the Public Building Commission, and other parties vested in creating a cutting-edge, 21st century learning environment. This urban education model is especially significant as urban populations increase, land resources become scarcer, and innovative solutions to our education needs continue to grow,” said Perkins+Will Global Design Director Ralph Johnson, FAIA, LEED AP.

“The world-class facility at Jones provides an elite education environment that allows our students and staff to thrive,” said Forrest Claypool, CEO of Chicago Public Schools . “Thanks to the innovative, dynamic space, one of the top high schools in the state will continue to provide our students the skills and resources they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

“It is a privilege to join Perkins + Will as they are honored for their outstanding and visionary design work on this project,” said Felicia S. Davis, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission, which developed the school on behalf of its client Chicago Public Schools. “This award is a well-deserved recognition of the innovative work that resulted in a 21st century school building that has provided not only an excellent educational environment for students but has created a visible and important community anchor in the South Loop neighborhood.”

The Mies van der Rohe Award is one of five statewide design awards presented by AIA Illinois annually as part of its Honor Awards program, which recognize people and projects epitomizing the contributions of the architecture profession, the transformative power of design, and the dedication of architects to community and excellence.

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Lisa Stott
American Institute of Architects Illinois
+1 (217) 522-2309 Ext: 5
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