LOCATION : Aurora, Illinois
MARKET : Master Planning, Higher Ed
Making education accessible

Aurora University commissioned Cordogan Clark & Associates to design its new campus Master Plan. This Master Plan incorporates new and projected buildings, parking, and site amenities. It is designed to preserve and enhance the positive features of the existing campus while bringing it new energy.

In the late 1980s, Cordogan Clark designed the new Dunham Hall building. We have since designed several campus projects including new dormitories, Student Activity Centers, Perry Theater, parking facilities, the new University Library, and the remodeled football field. The Institute for Collaboration is among the first buildings built under the new Master Plan.

In preparing the Master Plan, we worked with the University President and key officials to shape external as well as internal spaces that create a meaningful and memorable sense of place for this suburban campus. The original campus architecture was built in the "Richardsonian Romanesque" architectural style. This late-nineteenth century style was a widespread and adaptable design vocabulary through which architects could address multiple building tasks. It was a successful mode of design that applied to a wide array of building types while addressing such pragmatic requirements as fire-resistive construction. It also provided an aesthetic system that conveyed stability, soundness, and strength. This design vocabulary was used for key academic buildings throughout the United States, such as Harvard University's Sever and Austin Halls. It is a direct precursor of and influence on Sullivan and Wright, providing the groundwork for the development of the Prairie Style.

During the course of the mid-twentieth century, the design vocabulary progressively eroded on the AU campus, and these Mid-century campus buildings had lost most of their original architectural character. We worked to correct this in our design for Dunham Hall by building in the spirit of the original campus design vocabulary. Using true load bearing masonry construct- ion, masonry arches, cast limestone detailing, and true tile-clad pitched roof construction, Dunham Hall once again imbues the campus with an architectural authenticity and integrity.