Benito Juarez High School

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The new Juarez Performing Arts Addition includes a two-story volume  with arts classrooms and a 500-seat auditorium, a bridge link with general classrooms, an academic plaza, athletic fields and a civic plaza memorializing Hispanic heritage.  Constructed on reclaimed industrial land, the new addition completes the expanded campus.


Challenges included creating a true urban school campus and mitigating the impact of adjacent industrial areas.  Strategic placement of the addition along the site’s southern edge defines the campus and effectively buffers busy ­­ Cermak Road. The two-story volume’s masonry cladding compliments the existing academic building and strengthens the sense of campus. Alternately, the bridge link is clad in glass and metal, reinforcing its role as a bridge between the two masonry buildings.  Its transparency supports daytime art activities and becomes a glowing neighborhood marker, during evening hours.  


Along with expanded athletic fields, incorporation of a green roof and lush bioswale create a virtual green oasis, significantly improving its surroundings.  Notably, in collaboration with CDOT, diverted rainwater is collected from the link roof and academic plaza and channeled through runnels, troughs and stainless steel outlets to a water feature along Cermak. Ultimately rainwater sustains the bioswale and percolates into the ground.

Architect of Record

Architrave, Ltd.

Associate Architect



Chicago Public Schools

General Contractor

F.H. Paschen Construction Company


  • Globetrotters Engineering Corp.
  • Terra Engineering, Ltd.
  • Shen, Milsom and Wilke