Northeastern Illinois University El Centro

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) El Centro project is the first component in a satellite campus master plan envisioned by NEIU to provide educational, career and cultural opportunities primarily, though not exclusively, to the Latino community of Chicago. The El Centro campus seeks to revitalize this large swath of primarily industrial land bordered by Kimball Avenue, the Union Pacific/Northwest Metra line, and the 90/94 expressway, while serving as a catalyst for further development in the area.

The building’s sculptural form and vibrant facade are layered with intent reaching far beyond their superior iconographic capabilities. Especially indicative of this point are the exterior vertical louvers, which when coupled with the fully-glazed single-loaded corridors, combine to create an incredibly efficient sun-shading and acoustic-buffering barrier, protecting students of the many evening classes offered from the intensity of the setting western sun and the roar of rush hour traffic.

The NEIU El Centro Campus is a project completely engrossed in and belonging to its location and community and reinforces Chicago’s identity as a city rich in educational and architectural cultures.

Architect of Record



Northeastern Illinois University

General Contractor

The George Sollitt Construction Company


  • Primera
  • Site Design Group
  • Forefront