Illinois Institute of Art Learning Environments and Offices


Education Management Corporation


AKA Architects, Ltd.


General Contractor

The Illinois Institute of Art at Merchandise Mart engaged ICI for tenant improvements to their space consisting of the demolition of 10,000 square feet of classroom and office space to install three (3) commercial teaching kitchens, a dining area for a bistro, a new library and four (4) computer labs. Additionally, ICI remodeled the remaining 30,000 square feet of space with reconfigured classroom layouts, laboratory rooms, restrooms and studios.

One of the primary complexities of this project was minimizing disruption to adjacent spaces as they were fully operational throughout the duration of the project. The school occupies the first floor of the building and is surrounded by a tenant-filled basement level and 20+ stories of tenants above. Noise control was of the utmost importance because directly below the commercial kitchens ICI was installing a studio where TV shows were being filmed. Directly above, day trading was being conducted.