Loy­ola Uni­ver­si­ty, Damen Stu­dent Center

Ld  Loyola University Damen Student Center  002 1800 1

Loyola University Chicago is undergoing a transformation of its Lake Shore Campus. A significant component of the master plan is the new Damen Student Center: a state of the art facility that provides both residential and commuter students a place to connect, collaborate and interact.

Thoughtful daylight integration and architectural lighting enhance the architecture and support the activities in the space, while a variety of decorative fixtures add a sense of fun and playfulness. The three levels of this building feature food service, a multi-purpose room, student affairs offices, commuter lounge spaces, and cinema with links directly to the sports arena and fitness center.

With daylighting now an integral part of the design process, we were able to assist the design team with many important design decisions before Loyola broke ground on the job. We conducted an extensive daylighting study of various aspects of the project. We started with a massing study to review the building’s relationship with its campus surroundings and how daylight and shadowing from surrounding buildings might influence the interiors.

Ceramic-metal-halide monopoints, integrated in a slot, provide general light to the atrium space. When daylight levels drop, these fixtures energize to supplement light levels. Shades deploy when daylight levels soar.

At the coffered ceiling, recessed general lighting is supplemented by decorative pendants that sparkle in the space. The curved soffit above the serving line is outlined by a fluorescent architectural cove creating a floating ceiling effect. A central cluster of LED pendants over the serving island creates a focal point. Inexpensive LED tapelight is integrated into millwork.


Chicago, IL


Solomon Cordwell Buenz


  • IES Illu­mi­na­tion Design Award of Mer­it, 2014
  • GE Award of Mer­it, 2013