University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Natural History Building
The renovation transformed a deteriorated historic building into a modern academic and research facility, while preserving the inherent quality of one of the oldest buildings on campus.
LEED Gold Registered
Preservation and Conservation Association Heritage Award
RetroFit Magazine, feature
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Natural History Building has seen three major building additions since 1894, creating a complex of distinct structural systems and disparate, inefficient spaces. Driven by an urgent need to structurally stabilize a portion of the complex, LCM’s comprehensive renovation presented an opportunity to unify a fragmented interior, improve navigation, and thoroughly modernize the building while reviving its historic character.
Two departments with different subject matter and cultures share the building. Sustainability, nature, and tradition – common values to the School of Earth Science and the Environment and the School of Integrative Biology – guided design decisions to create visual and functional unity through light, color and materials selection. Flexible, dynamic spaces integrate contemporary tools to accommodate collaborative learning and teaching methods. The successful fusion of modern and traditional is apparent throughout the building.