Max Palevsky Residential Commons

Max Palevsky Residential Commons

Completed: 2001
Architect: Ricardo Legorreta
Address: 1101 E. 56th St.
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Ricardo Legorreta had never designed a building situated as far north as Chicago when he was commissioned to design student residential housing for the University. The challenge for the architect was to apply his love of simple geometry and bright colors—preferences bred by his native Mexico—in a climate and tradition so different from his own. He chose the brightest brick he could find for the new complex. The bright brick amplifies sunlight, especially in the cold, gray months of winter. Here, the blending of the new with the old is hardly literal; rather, the buildings reflect the scale, massing, and geometric rigor of Gothic buildings nearby, while looking nothing like them.