Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School

Distinguished Building Award Submission

This catholic high school in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Chicago is based on the Jesuit educational concept of Corus Personalis, or care of the whole person. The school is conceived of as a body with chapel, library, gym and dining hall serving as the vital organs of heart, mind, and lungs. The L-shaped building forms a courtyard with an existing middle school, and is comprised of a 3-story academic wing connected to a one-story gymnasium/auditorium (to allow construction phasing).
The building’s façade of multi-colored fiber-reinforced cement panels and playful window rhythms serve to give identity to the school’s unique operating model, in which students work one day a week at a business that subsidizes their tuition. The steel & precast concrete structure and rain screen cladding was specifically designed to meet the project’s modest budget ($220/sf) and compressed construction schedule.
A focal point of the school is the 200-seat chapel, whose irregularly-patterned glass block walls and three-story light monitor collect sunlight. Architect-designed furniture and steel-cable crucifix complements the sensuous minimalism. Lining the courtyard walls outside the chapel are architect-designed Stations of the Cross, incorporated into the building cladding, transforming the exterior courtyard into a spiritual space.

John Ronan Architects
Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School
  • C.E. Anderson & Associates
  • dbHMS
General contractor
Norcon, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois