William Jones College Preparatory High School

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

This public high school is located in downtown Chicago. The interior of this seven-story school is dispersed vertically to maximize interaction and eliminate travel time between classes. Classroom houses are located at the center of the school on levels 4 and 5 to provide optimal proximity to shared curriculum spaces above and below. Exterior and interior gathering spaces are carved out of the rectilinear volume of this urban school as focal points within the functional volumes and to frame views and engage the city. A multi-story lobby at grade provides a central gathering space for the school, which is on axis with a street that leads to a lakeside park. An auditorium and administrative offices are open to this space. Upper levels of this space connect to the library and cafeteria. Each academic house has a smaller central gathering space punctuated by a sculptural art room. Two day-lit double-flow stairs provide the main vertical connective artery for the school while framing views of the city.

Architect of Record

Perkins + Will

Associate Architect

The Architects Enterprise, Ltd.


Public Building Commission of Chicago / Chicago Public Schools

General Contractor

Walsh Construction


  • Primera Engineers
  • Halvorson & Partners
  • Terra Engineering