Designed by DeStefano Partners of Chicago, Illinois, the College of DuPage Technology Education Center (TEC) in Glen Ellyn, Illinois is a 178,000 square foot academic facility for technology-based career training. The project was awarded LEED Silver certification and was designed to support a broad educational agenda in the fields of the horticulture, construction trades, architecture, interior design, construction management, and automotive technology.
The 4-story TEC building is sited adjacent to a new 12,000sf greenhouse and the College of DuPage’s ornamental horticultural garden, which directed the massing and orientation of the building. These issues, in conjunction with on-site parking requirements, vehicular/pedestrian traffic, preservation of nature areas, and future building development as part of the broader Campus Master Plan, helped dictate the structure and its relationship to the site. The resulting facility meets technically complex requirements for specific spaces and expresses the College’s balance between instruction and hands-on experience.
In keeping with academic program of the facility (a large portion of which deals specifically with the building trades), DeStefano expresses the structural and MEP systems of the facility to students and researchers studying within the complex. The complex program of the multidisciplinary learning environment required sensitive and specific architectural approaches to each of the learning environments; for example, laboratory spaces with minimal light requirements were treated with large concrete panels, while classroom and office spaces were treated with the complex’s signature curtain wall system of glass and fiber-reinforced concrete panels. According to the architect, these contrasting materials visually articulate the diversity of the interior spaces of the structure. On the interior, supergraphics and strategic punches of color are used to differentiate and demarcate space.
In addition to LEED Silver certification, the TEC was awarded an Interior Architecture Award & Distinguished Building Award from the AIA as well as a Mies van der Rohe Award for its implementation of new ideas and technologies.