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Marwen Expansion 833 N Orleans St


Marwen Expansion Project Type: Non-Profit Art Education Organization Year Completed: 2015 (Phase 2); 1999 (Phase 1) Location: 833 N. Orleans St, Chicago IL 60610 Square Footage: 29,875 sf (total); 1,060 sf (new loggia); 15,000 sf (new and renovated studio spaces) Grades Served: Underserved students in Chicago, grades 6-12 Number of Students: Nearly 900 students yearly

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W. Chestnut St. W. CHESTNUT ST.

W. Chestnut St. W. CHESTNUT ST.

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PUBLIC ALLEY Public Alley

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N. ORLEANSSt. ST. N. Orleans

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Public PUBLICAlley ALLEY

N. Orleans N. ORLEANSSt. ST.

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W. INSTITUTE PL. Pl. W. Institute

W. INSTITUTE PL. Pl. W. Institute

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Site Plan - After

Site Plan - Before 1

4-story Brick Structure

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Asphalt Parking Lot

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4-story Brick Structure

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Vegetated Fence

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1-story Vestibule

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Adjacent Vacant Lot

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New 1-story Loggia addition

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Vehicular Entry

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Former Vehicular Driveway

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The “El” Train Tracks

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Exterior Breakout

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Vehicular Exit

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Pervious Paver Parking Lot

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The “El” Train Tracks

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Pedestrian Entry

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Marwen was founded in 1987 to educate and inspire underserved young people through the visual arts. The organization has been fueled by two simple but powerful ideas throughout its history—that making art can transform lives, and that every young person should have the opportunities to do so. Marwen serves nearly 900 CPS students each year through its various arts programs, which are offered free of charge. Students come from 300 of Chicago’s 664 public schools and from 53 of the city’s 57 zip codes. In 2014, Marwen recognized that too many young people still lacked access to creative opportunities that could make an impact on their lives. In response to this growing need, Marwen committed to an ambitious goal: serve 30% more young people by 2018, for a total of 1,100 unique students in their core programs. To accomplish this goal, Marwen expanded its facility to deepen its role as a nationally recognized model of arts education.

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Situated on four floors of a heavy timber manufacturing building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, the program includes a main public gallery for student work, an alumni gallery, library, administrative offices, and nine state-of-the-art instructional studios for painting, printmaking, photography, graphic design, film, animation, textile arts, scupture, and ceramics. The expansion included a new entry and parking court, a multiuse loggia space, and an additional 15,000 square feet of new and/or renovated studio spaces, as well as new windows, HVAC, roof, solar panel array, and building signage.


For 15 years, Marwen had no physical, public presence. This year, Marwen announced itself to the city, having purchased the industrial loft building in which it had been renting space 6

and expanding its site to create a fully realized arts campus. With its new presence, Marwen conveys to the public its thoughtfully composed mission and vision.


With the addition of the loggia and the new entry leading to the main gallery, Marwen now has a greater interior/ exterior connection, which allows art to spill out of the building, into the parking court and plaza. The landscaped entry court helps students and visitors know they’ve entered Marwen before they’ve even set foot in the building. To reach the instructional studios, students encounter artwork created by their peers and teachers in the loggia and main gallery, fueling their imagination and creating an aspiration to see their work displayed in the galleries as well.


The existing building was mined for its beauty. Floors were gutted to expose a raw structure organized by heavy timber columns. Tooled concrete floors were poured to provide appropriate sound deadening and to complement the existing brick masonry and Douglas fir beams. The architectural palette is spare and quiet, allowing artwork to be the focus. Because many Marwen students travel great distances, that can be difficult, the architecture attempts to provide a safe harbor for students, while at the same time liberating them to explore. Within this space, materials and elements become part of an instructional language that is intended to be “read� by future generations of artists, designers, and architects.

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Like art, architecture is something to explore and to learn from. This may be the first consciously designed space some students have encountered. As architects, we must have the optimism to hope that good design has the power to inspire. That a simple, artfully expressed stair, a thoughtfully placed piece of ductwork, or the proportioning of a material palette will be absorbed by the inhabitants, whether explicitly or implicitly.


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First Floor Plan

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Lobby

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Reception

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Student Lounge

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New Lobby

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Pantry

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Workroom

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Elevator Lobby

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Loading

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Elevator

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Office

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The “El” Train Tracks


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Second Floor Plan

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Mail/Copy

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Hall

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Storage

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Women’s Restroom

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Men’s Restroom

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Office

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Third Floor Plan

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Portfolio Documentation

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Digital Video Studio

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Egress Stairs

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Tech I

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Exhibition

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Women’s Restroom

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Media Storage

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Administration

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Men’s Restroom

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Dark Room

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Hall

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Unisex Restroom

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Tech II

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Storage

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Office

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Tech III

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Elevator


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Basement Floor Plan

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Mechanical

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Wet Room

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Electrical

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Multi-use Studio

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Egress Stairs

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Elevator Equipment

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Ceramics Studio

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Women’s Restroom

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Existing Fire Pumps

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Men’s Restroom


Credits:

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Owner: Marwen 833 N. Orleans St Chicago, IL 60610 www.marwen.org v: 312.944.2418

Landscape Architect: Wolff Landscape Architecture 307 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 601 Chicago, IL 60601 www.wolfflandscape.com v: 510.845.7549

FFE Consultant: Gensler 11 E. Madison St, Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60602 www.gensler.com 312.456.0123

Architect: Wheeler Kearns Architects 343 S Dearborn St. Suite 200 Chicago, IL 60604 www.wkarch.com v: 312.939.7787

Civil Engineer: Terra Engineering 225 W. Ohio St, 4th Floor Chicago, IL 60654 www.terraengineering.com v: 312.467.0123

Lighting Consultant: Lux Poluli Mexico City www.luxpopuli.com 312.239.0956

General Contractor: Power Construction Company, LLC 8750 W. Bryn Mawr Ave Chicago, IL 60631 www.powerconstruction.net v: 847.214.6373

Structural Engineer: Thornton-Tomasetti 330 N. Wabash Ave, Suite 1500 Chicago, IL 60611 www.thorntontomasetti.com v: 312.596.2000

Photography: Steve Hall - Hedrich Blessing 400 North Peoria Street Chicago, IL 60642 t: 312.491.1101


Profile for Wheeler Kearns Architects

Marwen Expansion  

Marwen, a nationally recognized art education organization, provides free visual arts classes to under-served students in Chicago in grades...

Marwen Expansion  

Marwen, a nationally recognized art education organization, provides free visual arts classes to under-served students in Chicago in grades...

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