The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Associate architect: Charcoalblue
Owner: Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Category A: Stellar Design
The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater introduces Chicago to a global trend in theater architecture that focuses on flexible, adaptive, and sustainable design. The year-round, flexible venue can be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes with audience capacities ranging from 150 to 850, defining the audience-artist relationship to best serve each production. The adaptive reuse of the project was an important aspect of the design. The new structure is artfully tucked beneath the existing signature tent structure and above an existing parking garage. Every discipline on the team had to be creative in threading the needle of space, structure, and mechanical systems.
"From the project delivery, its use of technology and design creativity, this project elevates the real demands of audience experience..." - Jury comment
The design of The Yard features an electrochromic facade in the lobby that mitigates both glare and heat. This technologically unique solution is highly sustainable as it will reduce heat gain and cooling needs for the project. The glass is transformational so it tints during the day and goes clear in the evening. Designed with daylight sensors on the roof, the facade will be primarily tinted throughout the day becoming clearer in the evenings as the sun sets and performances begin.
The glass is transformational so it tints when warmed up in the day and goes clear when cooled down in the evening. Designed with daylight sensors on the roof, the facade will be primarily tinted throughout the day becoming clearer in the evenings as the sun sets and the performances begin, like the raising of a curtain.