Steppenwolf Theatre Campus Expansion, also known as The Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center featuring the Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell. East exterior façade. Night view with lighting. Photo by James Steinkamp.
Steppenwolf Theatre Campus Expansion
PrizeHonorable Mention in Architectural Design / Cultural Architecture
Firm LocationSuite 2300, United States
CompanyAdrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Lead ArchitectGordon Gill, FAIA
Design TeamGeneral Contractor: Norcon Inc. / Theatre consultant: Charcoalblue / Landscape architect: Oslund and Associates / Bar Designer: FC Studio / Signage: Studio Blue / Structural engineering: Thornton Tomasetti / Electrical engineering: Environmental Systems Design / Civil engineering: Spaceco / Lighting design: Morlights / Fire & Life Safety Consultant: Jensen Hughes / Cost Estimating: Venue
The new building connects a tight site between a parking garage to the south and the existing theater to the north. Its marque façade looks east along Halsted Street, with the west façade facing a public alley. The new 50,000 sf, 400-seat, in-the-round theater is just six rows deep, blurring the lines of the actor/audience relationship. The expansion includes a sidewalk lounge, lobby pre-function spaces, wine bar, costume shop, and other production amenities. A youth education center, The Loft, encompasses the fourth floor with a balcony with skyline views and three dedicated learning spaces.