The Keller Center: Harris Public Policy’s future home will reimagine a modern masterpiece for a new era of policy leadership.

In late 2014, under the leadership of then Dean Daniel Diermeier, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy laid out a new plan to increase the size of the school in order to meet the demand for data-driven, evidence-based public policy leaders across the globe. To accommodate the new students, faculty, and programs, Harris Public Policy secured a building to renovate and turn into its future home. The new facility will also house The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. Construction has begun on the building, formerly the New Graduate Residence, and is scheduled to be complete during the 2018-2019 academic year.  

The Donors 

University Trustee Dennis J. Keller, MBA’68, co-founder and retired chairman and CEO of DeVry Education Group, has committed $20 million to Harris Public Policy, currently the second-largest gift in the school’s history. University Trustee King Harris, chairman of Harris Holdings, Inc. and board chair of AptarGroup, Inc., and his family, will give $12.5 million, adding to their longstanding support of Harris Public Policy.

Named in recognition of the generous support of Dennis J. and Connie Keller, our future home at The Keller Center will showcase Harris Public Policy's enduring commitment to intellectual openness, inclusiveness and bold innovation. The Keller Center will also serve as one of the University of Chicago’s anchors on the south side of campus, connecting us to the neighboring communities. 

In addition to these two leading donors, many other generous supporters have helped make this building possible. We are grateful for their support and look forward to honoring them in our new space.

The Design Plan 

The Keller Center will restore and reimagine a 20th-century masterpiece by Edward Durrell Stone located at 1307 East 60th Street. The building is an example of the post modern style of 1960s architecture, characterized by its concrete pillars and horizontal rather than vertical use of space. A sensitive transformation of the exterior façade will retain Stone’s signature design—slender encircling columns, projecting perforated canopy and limestone façade with decorative tracery. The monumental plinth will be modified to better connect the Keller Center to nearby academic facilities and to provide full accessibility. New glass insertions will replace the limestone façade at key entry points, allowing natural light into the building and providing a welcoming entrance.

Living Building Challenge

One goal for the Keller Center project is to achieve Living Building Challenge™ (LBC) certification. If the Keller Center is able to achieve this unique feat, it will be the only building on campus and the only building in Chicago of this size to be LBC-certified.

The Living Building Challenge™ (LBC) is a building certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today, and acts to rapidly diminish the gap between current limits and the end-game positive solutions we seek.

The Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Petals are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence. This compilation of Imperatives can be applied to almost every conceivable building project, of any scale and any location—be it a new building or an existing structure. 

Architect

Harris Public Policy has assembled a team of world-class designers to oversee the transformation of the Stone building. Chicago-based Farr Associates, the architect of record, is working with a team of consultants to devise architectural and interior design plans for the Keller Center. Farr Associates is recognized nationally for their emphasis on sustainability and collaborative approach to design.

Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering
Keller Rendering