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Type: Cultural, Institutional

Size: 48,400 sq ft / 4,500 sq m

Status: Completed 2023

Recognition: ENR Midwest “Cultural Best Project Award”; ACEC Honor Award for Building/Technology Systems; ACEC Judges’ Choice Award for Building/Technology Systems

From the ground up, the Pritzker Military Archives Center makes room for change. Envisioned to accommodate the expanding collections of Chicago’s Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the new facility includes nearly 15,000 square feet of below grade archival storage along with an expansive gallery center that provides locals in nearby Sturtevant, Wisconsin an opportunity to immerse themselves in military history.

Modular and efficient building systems work alongside one another to create flexible spaces capable of changing over time. Much like the structure itself, which projects the ultimate expression of meticulous engineering through an exposed steel truss system, the center’s private spaces are revealed to curious public eyes through a partial height glass partition, offering a lens into the work of curators and archivists.

The Pritzker Military Archives Center is based on a 36’ structural grid system where the architecture and the structure are expressed and speak the same language. The side walls are steel trusses that support the roof system and provide the lateral stability required. A great roof cantilevers to frame an outdoor exhibit space, presenting an open and inviting image to guests and creating a prominent and impactful marker on the landscape. Its elevated roof and expansive interior space maximize functional efficiency and visual impact, providing ideal working conditions for staff while inspiring visitors.

Spanning 3,000 acres, the grounds of the Pritzker Military Archives Center are designed with a commitment to preserving a significant amount of its green area. The plan allocates less than 7% of the total area for buildings, ensuring that the nearby wetlands are left untouched. The community area includes green spaces featuring trails for walking and biking, along with picnic spots, covering a total of 51,800 square feet. To support the extensive landscape of the Memorial Park, rainwater is harvested to be reused for irrigation, while a 50,561 kWh solar field generates electricity for the entire site.

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