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Mansueto High School

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Industrial brownfield transformed into a place of opportunity.

Located in Chicago’s most extensive “park desert,” Mansueto High School transformed five and a half acres of industrial brownfield into a place of opportunity for Brighton Park families. The new 67,000sf school centers on a park-like quadrangle, presaging a college experience for its students, who are 98% minority and over 91% low-income.

Taut masonry facades along the streets, which relate to the historical context, transition to light gray metal panels on the quadrangle, which reflect images of trees and greenery. On two sides, window-lined corridors look out to the quad, where students and faculty can work at counters while overlooking the landscape. Multiple state-of-the-art science labs with floor-to-ceiling windows line the other sides of the quadrangle, which also serves as an outdoor learning space in good weather.

With a strong dose of natural light, classrooms are airy and have high ceilings floating above exposed ducts and piping. The double-height gymnasium, located on the east side of the quadrangle, is daylit from above by twelve skylights. Further east, a competition-size soccer field in encircled by a walking track that is shared with the community.

Built to provide an underserved community with a high-performing and effective learning environment, every detail in the new school embodies design excellence and leverages the school’s culture of high-expectations and both short and long-term success.

General Contractor: Bulley & Andrews
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
MEP Engineer: Primera Engineers
Civil & Traffic Engineer: TERRA Engineering
Landscape Architect: site design group
Acoustical Consultant: Threshold Acoustics
Kitchen Design: Edge Associates
AV/Security Design: Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.
Drone Photography: Soaring Badger and Bulley & Andrews
Photography: Steve Hall, Hall + Merrick Photographers