Chicago, IL (April 2017) – The O.T. Hogan building is part of the Northwestern University campus. It is one of three buildings dedicated to the study of biological sciences. Its Brutalist architecture features an unusual four-leaf clover-like footprint. The building was designed in the 1960’s by Walter Netsch during his tenure at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. It is an excellent example of his Field Theory; rotating squares to create complex geometries. Limestone panels and aluminum window walls twist around the center. Its entire sixth floor is comprised of greenhouse pods.
Building Blocks has been contracted to replace the exterior window walls of the greenhouse rooms. The unique geometry of Hogan provided an engaging challenge. However, an even more unusual element of the project presented itself after windows had been selected and installation planning began.
The biological sciences department house their mice and fish in the Hogan building. These animals have specific breeding habits that are sensitive to the particular vibrations and audio frequencies produced by window replacement. As a result, the installation schedule this summer has been arranged to allow a work stop from 8:30 am to 10:00 am every day. This way, the building improvements will not disrupt the mice and fish or alter the results of scientific studies that are underway.