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 two-story lobby's daylight and comfortable furnishings welcome students and faculty to mingle. The architecture of the space announces the building's purpose as a center of education about the sciences. The sundial of its terrazzo floor and the sculptural sun-yellow ceiling recall the oldest focus of scientific investigation (the ceiling's shape also mitigates acoustical noise and conceals the pathway for return air.) Series of interior windows and donor recognition panels recall mathematic sequences, as do the etched glass guardrails of the mezzanine. This space introduces the student to a building where architecture, daylight, color and graphics are integrated to celebrate the sciences.

Architect of Record

VOA Associates Incorporated

Associate Architect

VOA Associates Incorporated


North Park University

General Contractor

W. B. Olson