David Rubenstein Forum, The University of Chicago

Chicago Architects Brininstool + Lynch: David Rubenstein Forum

David Rubenstein Forum, The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois


The David Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago is a space of discourse and intellectual exchange aimed at fostering the outward engagement of visiting scholars, researchers and dignitaries from around the world. Prominently located on Chicago’s Midway Plaisance across from Rockefeller Chapel, the Forum offers expansive views of Downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan, as well as the University Campus and Woodlawn Community. B+L teamed with design architect, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, to realize this project.

The building is composed of a two-story base and a slender, eight-story tower that provides the University with a 285-seat auditorium and much needed multipurpose meeting spaces for workshops, symposia and lectures, among other activities. The tower is organized as a stack of neighborhoods with meeting and communal spaces offering diverse environments—formal and informal, calm and animated, focused and diffused, scheduled and spontaneous. Each neighborhood coalesces around a central private social lounge that offers a sense of community and identity. The neighborhoods are vertically stacked, each rotated and oriented to their own unique perspective of Chicago, creating a panoramic, 360-degree form, rather than a building with a front and back.

Project Type



97,000 square feet


Diller Scofidio + Renfro


Turner Construction


Primera, MEP, FP, Code, Life Safety, Energy
LERA, Structural
Thornton Tomasetti, Curtain Wall
Site-design, Landscape 
Terra Engineering, Civil
Threshold Acoustics, Acoustic, AV, IT
Tillotson Design Associates, Lighting
Syska Hennessy, Vertical Transportation
Cini-little, Food
Hjkessler Associates, LEED
Construction Specifications, Specifications
Dharam Consulting, Cost Estimator
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Waterproofing
Specialty Construction, Interior Steel Stairs Fabrication
Tuschall Engineering, Zinc Rainscreen Fabrication & Installation


2021 Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award, Higher Education


Angie McMonigal