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Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence, 2nd Place

Walking down the 5000 block of Cornell Avenue and encountering the dramatic glass-walled façade of the Hyde Park Art Center one would never guess that just a few years ago, this handsome edifice was an anonymous building used by the University of Chicago as a warehouse and printing plant.

The transformation, made possible by the vision of Garofalo Architects and the generosity of the University and other donors, not only benefits the Hyde Park Art Center, which now has its first free standing home, but the surrounding community, creating a new gathering space on the east side of Hyde Park.

A perfect fit between form and function, the Center is a structure that satisfies user needs while becoming a genuine work of art in itself. The space is both flexible and adaptive, with large public spaces for exhibition and smaller spaces for studios and galleries. A particularly unique aspect of the building is the transformation of the former loading dock doors into an operable wall that opens to the sidewalk. Accompanied by a projection system, a wall along the second floor can be used to project art onto the street in what has been described as an “unforeseen and brilliant addition to the community.”

For the creativity of the design, the excellence of the execution and its enhancement of the community, the Hyde Park Art Center and its designers, Garofalo Architects are awarded the Second Place Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design.