College of DuPage Naperville Regional Center

Naperville, Illinois / United States of America

Our firm re-imagined the College of DuPage’s 1990 Naperville Regional Center. The existing building was energy inefficient and aesthetically mundane, elements the client considered detrimental to their success. While improving the energy performance of the building did not demand breaking any pioneering or technological boundaries, the need for refining the appearance through the wall system provided the opportunity to be innovative. Wanting a rain screen and solar shading as the final layer to the wall system, the design team seized the chance to have the material emphasize the sense of learning and its path of discovery by making it a metaphorical veil that the student walks through to find the bright revelatory colors of knowledge. The veil wanted to be transformative in appearance, creating a sense of motion with a person’s movement. The team turned to a material used as lightweight flooring for catwalks: aluminum grating. Aluminum is a finish that could evolve, oxidize, without the addition of finishes, and without developing rust. The off-the-shelf system allowed experimentation with spacing, opening sizes, and shapes to create movement, while also providing solar shading benefits that other options did not. Over 10 options of size, spacing or repeat were explored.

Architect of Record

Bailey Edward Design Inc.


College of DuPage

General Contractor

Pepper Construction


  • Christopher B. Burke Engineering
  • SP Engineers
  • Terry Guen Design Associates