Entry expansion for the Upper School engages the neighborhood. Photography: ©2015 ballogphoto.com

Latin School of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Area: Renovation – 50,000 square feet
           Expansion – 150,000 square feet

Site & Program: The Latin School is an independent JK-12 school on an urban site. Nagle Hartray defined the program and master planned expansion in 1995. The program includes expansion and renovation of all facilities across all grades since that time.

Design: Nagle Hartray worked closely with school staff and parents to develop a phased plan to meet the program needs of the school without interruption of classes. The project team also worked closely with local residents to insure the expanded facility would remain a good fit with the existing community fabric.

Nagle Hartray transformed the traditional forms of older campus buildings through contemporary construction methods to create a contemporary identity for the school within the existing urban residential fabric of the community. The most substantial expansion is the 80,000 square foot Middle School building with enclosed connections to existing facilities.


A participatory campus-wide facilities evaluation and planning process followed involving administrators, faculty, staff, students, board members, and parents. This led to the creation of the Upper School Science Center (LEED for Commercial Interiors Gold certified), where student-centered paradigms for learning - informal/formal, teacher-directed/self-directed, scientific/artistic - form the basis of this new model for scientific education. An Interactive Science Forum, designed in collaboration with Architecture Is Fun, Inc., and the Latin science faculty, serves as an educational hub for interaction, investigation and inquiry. Writable walls and state-of-the-art technology support teachable moments in all spaces.

The expansion and renovation of the Upper School lobby provides a more secure, accessible, and welcoming entry lobby. The existing gymnasium and theater lobbies became student-centered with lounge seating, dramatic lighting, and graphics that promote Latin’s school identity.

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