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Chicago GSB Harper Center Named “Building of the Year”


The Charles M. Harper Center at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business was named Office Building of the Year by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA). The Harper Center, 5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue, won in the corporate facilities category, which includes educational institutions.

The award recognizes excellence in commercial real estate management.

Judging criteria included building appearance and maintenance, responsiveness of facilities staff, energy management systems and procedures, and building accessibility.

“Everyone involved in facilities management of the Harper Center takes a great deal of pride in this wonderful building,” said Robert Watts, director of facilities for the Graduate School of Business.

“The building’s engineers, maintenance workers and staff of the facilities office have set high standards for their work and this award recognizes their achievements,” Watts said.

The 415,000 square foot building includes 12 classrooms, 2 seminar rooms, 31 group study rooms and 42 interview rooms where corporate recruiters meet with MBA students and where prospective students are interviewed for admission.

A six-story tall atrium winter garden rises through the center of the building topped by curved steel beams that form Gothic arches, a signature of the University of Chicago’s architecture.

The Harper Center, which opened in 2004, accommodates 1,100 full-time MBA students, 120 PhD students, 200 staff members and 174 faculty offices. It was designed by architect Rafael Vinoly.

The award was presented September 19 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers.