University of Chicago Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago is an innovative research incubator and institute intended to expand the boundaries of humanistic inquiry by transcending single disciplines. Set within the walls of the historic former Meadville Theological Seminary building purchased by the University in 2011, it is a destination for visiting scholars and the wider public.

The signature element of the Neubauer Collegium is a pyramidal design motif in the marble paneling of the historic ceremonial stair. The pattern appears in the Collegium’s logo and public communications materials. This motif is integral to the design of the building entrance. A new stair joins the varying levels of the plan, moving from the glass-enclosed vestibule to the paneled reception area. The pyramidal design motif has been transformed into a contemporary pattern for a laser-cut steel screen at the entrance and stair. It is a visual representation of the joining of history and the future in this collaborative research space.

The perforated pattern of the screen is designed with varying levels of opacity and transparency depending upon the location and function of the screen as it moves up the stair from entrance to reception level. 

Architect of Record

Kliment Halsband Architects

Associate Architect

McGuire Igleski & Associates


University of Chicago

General Contractor

Berglund Construction


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