Northside College Preparatory High School

Chicago, Illinois

  • FIRM

    OWP/P Architects


    Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

  • AREA

    210,000 sq.ft.





Chicago’s first new public high school in 20 years was designed to attract gifted students by offering an honors/AP curriculum in an advanced learning environment.

Accommodating 1,000 students in grades 9 to 12, the school features: an environmental orientation that takes advantage of the building’s site; multifunctional program spaces that allow community use; ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMThe Architects EnterpriseCOST PER SQ FT$176.00FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio technology using a fiber-optic backbone.

The design was dictated by the constraints of the long, narrow site, bounded by streets, a river and utilities. Construction began before neighboring buildings were demolished.

Facing a residential neighborhood and river, the building presents a series of interconnecting forms. The intersections between volumes create light-filled gathering spaces that support flexible, large-group learning and enable students to experience the site.

The site is anchored with performing-arts areas and athletic facilities at north/south ends. Independent entrances allow shared use of facilities by the community after-hours while maintaining the security of academic areas.

A centered three-story glass entry dramatically identifies the main academic entrance. The adjacent two-story learning center offers numerous study areas, and river and skylighted views.

Photographers: ©Scott McDonald/Hedrich-Blessing Photography