Northeast Light Well Infill


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Northeast Light Well Infill

Location Client Size Role Duration
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 The Field Museum of Chicago 16,000 sq/ft. Owner’s Representative / Development Consultant January 2004 – September 2005

A Light Well is a shaft within a building, open to the outer air at the top, used to admit daylight and air through windows opening onto the shaft. The Northeast Light Well was the last of The Field Museum’s six original light wells still used for this purpose.

The Infill Project consisted of reclaiming the light well space by creating a new roof, third floor, and second floor. This provides The Field Museum with two new floors for a total addition of approximately 16,000 sf (square feet) of museum space. The two new floors are at the same elevation as the surrounding, previously existing second and third floors respectively.

The second floor of the (former) light well houses the new Evolving Planet Special Exhibit Hall, the Audio Visual Data Center, the Information Technologies Intermediate Distribution Frame, and miscellaneous Storage Space.

The third floor houses two new Mechanical Rooms that contain two 60,000 cfm (cubic feet per minute) Air Handling Units that serve the entire northeast quadrant of the museum.

The entire project is contained within the existing building envelope so as to not affect the museum’s historic designation.

Highlights of the project include:

  • Installation of two new 60,00 CFM AHU that services the Northeast Quadrant of the Museum
  • Installation of new second and third floor slabs and roof
  • Installation of vibration isolators under the AHU’s in the mechanical rooms.