Nancy and G. Timothy Johnson Center for Science and Community Life North Park University

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The Johnson Center for Science and Community Life anchors the northwest corner of North Park University's campus green. The horizontal bands of windows express its laboratory function, and the central wall of glass defines the entrance and identifies the importance of rooms behind, a two-story lobby surmounted by the University Boardroom, framing views of the campus and the Chicago skyline. Upon entering, the lobby welcomes students and faculty to mingle. The sundial of its terrazzo floor and the sloped sun-yellow ceiling announce the building's purpose. Student support programs and a café flank the entrance. Physics labs, loud and impactful, occupy the ground floor while biology and chemistry labs, located on the top floor, exhaust directly to the roof. Though lab buildings are among the highest energy-consumers, the Johnson Center's innovative hybrid mechanical system, daylight harvesting and sustainable materials earned the building LEED Gold Certification. Sculptural interior windows admit light to the corridors; this detail also provides a vehicle for student project display, way-finding signage and donor recognition. The color spectrum is expressed throughout the building through accent panels and floor-to-ceiling graphics that educate about the sciences.

Architect of Record

VOA Associates Incorporated

Associate Architect

VOA Associates Incorporated


North Park University

General Contractor

W. B. Olson