ECE new building design takes shape

SmithGroup and representatives of ECE ILLINOIS and the University of Illinois are approaching the end of the “schematic design” phase, in which various elements are assembled and stacked like 3D puzzle pieces within a potential building form. The objective has been to evaluate the location and adjacencies of the various office, classroom, laboratory, and support spaces that will be used in the building. Another objective is to explore building arrangements that work efficiently to provide space for all the necessary functions.

Throughout the process, the focus has been on ensuring that the finished building–in addition to its functional uses–will be inviting, space and energy efficient, and user friendly. After schematic design, the architects will prepare outside forms and design elements to create the ultimate “look and feel” of the facility.

The process has helped those involved understand how the pieces will need to interconnect. Unfortunately, not all the most important things can fit on the first floor. Nevertheless, the process has so far been a relatively smooth one.

SmithGroup will take the input from the department in development of more final drawings and layouts for the building. Once the firm presents ECE and the University with the official completed schematic design later this month, work will begin on the preparation of renderings of the new ECE building.