I don’t recall much about the view from the window of my dorm room in college. It was the fourth floor of the blocky, plain vanilla Hudson Hall at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
What I can definitely say is there wasn’t much comparison to what I saw last week during a tour of Roosevelt University’s “vertical campus” at 425 South Wabash Avenue. It was a stunning view of Lake Michigan to the east from somewhere north of 20 stories high. Another guy in my group sighed, shook his head and said, “Man, I need to go back to college.”
It’s bright blue and appears to reach toward the sky in a wave-like pattern. It stands 469 feet tall. From the ground up, the building takes on different forms. The first five floors are used for student life and student services. From floor six through 13, there are classrooms, labs and offices. Floors 14 to 31 contain student housing.
It’s quite a different view you get if you’re an undergrad student lucky enough to enjoy an eastern exposure in one of the Roosevelt U.’s upper floors. Designing the campus presented architects Joe Dietz and Al Migon of VOA with some obstacles. They were clearly up to the challenge—the building is functional, attractive, and very, very green. Here then, are a half-dozen things you probably didn’t know about the Roosevelt University vertical campus. And yes, you will be responsible for knowing this for the final exam.