Architecture

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Architectural Renderings

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), an internationally renowned design firm based in New York City, is leading the design of the David Rubenstein Forum.

“Diller Scofidio + Renfro brings exceptional talent and vision to the design of this important addition to our campus,” said University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer. “The Forum will reinforce and enhance the convening power of the University and its role as a leading intellectual destination. We are pleased to be able to recognize David Rubenstein for his wonderful generosity by naming this important building in his honor.”

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is an interdisciplinary design studio that spans the fields of architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts. The studio established its identity through experimental large‑scale installations, curatorial and performance projects, and works in media and print. The firm is now charged with creating an innovative design for the University’s Campus South that will blend formal meeting spaces with opportunities for informal interaction to support and promote inquiry and facilitate the open exchange of ideas.

“As our first building in Chicago, the David Rubenstein Forum presents a unique challenge: to imagine a contemporary place of discourse for all of the University’s constituent departments and institutes as well as invited scholars and dignitaries from around the world,” said DS+R founding partner Elizabeth Diller. “The new building will combine a variety of spaces, both formal and informal, large and small, calm and animated, focused and diffuse, scheduled and spontaneous. The Forum’s unique position on the Midway will allow for expansive views toward the campus and surrounding communities as well as downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan.”

“Our selection of Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design the David Rubenstein Forum,” explained David Fithian, executive vice president, “signals the great importance we are placing on the way the building will function. We want this building to promote an experience that enhances the work to be done within its walls and not just stand as a neutral container of activities.”

The University is working closely on this project with Charles Renfro, who joined DS+R in 1997 and became a partner in 2004. He attended Rice University and received a master of architecture degree from Columbia University. Mr. Renfro has taught at Rice, Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and Columbia. His recent work at the firm includes the Broad museum building in Los Angeles and Stanford’s new McMurtry Building.

DS+R’s recent and ongoing architecture projects include the High Line park, the redevelopment of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, and the new start‑up the Shed, all in New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Broad, Los Angeles; the Museum of Image and Sound, Rio de Janeiro; Zaryadye Park, Moscow; and the United States Olympic Museum, Colorado Springs. The studio’s recent art projects include Musings on a Glass Box for the Fondation Cartier and Charles James: Beyond Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A sketch rendering of the David Rubenstein Forum design.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), an internationally renowned design firm based in New York City, is leading the design of the David Rubenstein Forum.

“Diller Scofidio + Renfro brings exceptional talent and vision to the design of this important addition to our campus,” said University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer. “The Forum will reinforce and enhance the convening power of the University and its role as a leading intellectual destination. We are pleased to be able to recognize David Rubenstein for his wonderful generosity by naming this important building in his honor.”

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is an interdisciplinary design studio that spans the fields of architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts. The studio established its identity through experimental large‑scale installations, curatorial and performance projects, and works in media and print. The firm is now charged with creating an innovative design for the University’s Campus South that will blend formal meeting spaces with opportunities for informal interaction to support and promote inquiry and facilitate the open exchange of ideas.

“As our first building in Chicago, the David Rubenstein Forum presents a unique challenge: to imagine a contemporary place of discourse for all of the University’s constituent departments and institutes as well as invited scholars and dignitaries from around the world,” said DS+R founding partner Elizabeth Diller. “The new building will combine a variety of spaces, both formal and informal, large and small, calm and animated, focused and diffuse, scheduled and spontaneous. The Forum’s unique position on the Midway will allow for expansive views toward the campus and surrounding communities as well as downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan.”

“Our selection of Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design the David Rubenstein Forum,” explained David Fithian, executive vice president, “signals the great importance we are placing on the way the building will function. We want this building to promote an experience that enhances the work to be done within its walls and not just stand as a neutral container of activities.”

The University is working closely on this project with Charles Renfro, who joined DS+R in 1997 and became a partner in 2004. He attended Rice University and received a master of architecture degree from Columbia University. Mr. Renfro has taught at Rice, Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and Columbia. His recent work at the firm includes the Broad museum building in Los Angeles and Stanford’s new McMurtry Building.

DS+R’s recent and ongoing architecture projects include the High Line park, the redevelopment of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, and the new start‑up the Shed, all in New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Broad, Los Angeles; the Museum of Image and Sound, Rio de Janeiro; Zaryadye Park, Moscow; and the United States Olympic Museum, Colorado Springs. The studio’s recent art projects include Musings on a Glass Box for the Fondation Cartier and Charles James: Beyond Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.