William Jones College Preparatory High School

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America


This public high school is located in downtown Chicago. Due to the property limitations of the urban site, the school's functions are dispersed vertically over seven occupied floors, rather than horizontally, as is more typical. Classroom spaces are located at the center of the school on Levels 4 and 5 to provide optimum proximity to the shared curriculum spaces above and below.

Public spaces and terraces carved out of the mass allow the school to engage the city as part of the learning experience. A multi-story lobby provides a gathering space for the school community while also responding to the axis of a street that leads to a lakeside public park. An auditorium and administrative area open on to this central space. Upper levels of this space tie to the library and cafeteria.

The pool and gymnasium are located at top floor to eliminate the need for structural transfers above their long spans. The two spaces flank an exterior garden terrace.

Two day-lit double-flow stairs provide the main vertical connective artery for the school while framing views of the city.

Architect of record

Ralph Johnson
Perkins + Will
330 N. Wabash Avenue, Suite 3600
Chicago, IL 60611, United States
Phone: 312-755-0770

Associate architect

Yves Jeanty
The Architects Enterprise, Ltd.
230 W. Monroe St.,
Chicago, IL 60606, United States
Phone: 312-424-0330

General contractor

Jeffrey Pezza
Walsh Construction
929 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 0607, United States
Phone: 312-563-5929

Consultant 1

Ken Panucci
Primera Engineers
100 S. Wacker Drive,, Suite 700,
Chicago, IL 60606, United States
Phone: 312-242-6352

Consultant 2

Robert Halvorson
Halvorson & Partners
1115 N. Kenilworth Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302, United States
Phone: 312-274-2402

Consultant 3

Karen Steingraber
Terra Engineering
225 West Ohio, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654, United States
Phone: 312-467-0123

Consultant 4

Ernest Wong
Site Design Group
888 S. Michigan Ave., #1000
Chicago, IL 60654, United States
Phone: 312-427-7240

Consultant 5

Richard Talaske
1033 South Boulevard
Oak Park, IL 60302, United States
Phone: 708-524-2800


James Steinkamp
Steinkamp Photography
923 Oakwood Terrace
Hinsdale, IL 60521, United States
Phone: 312-735-5333