Renovation of Area 2 Police Headquarters

Chicago, IL, USA

The philosophy of sustainability recommends the consideration of the whole life cost of a building, both in terms of economics and environmental impact. It follows that in the case of civic buildings such as a Police Station with a design life of 60 years the cost of ownership and operation actually exceeds the cost of construction. Buildings can only be truly sustainable if they suit their purpose and are efficient to operate, otherwise they consume unnecessary resources, are a burden to the owners and risk premature replacement.

The retention of the existing superstructure, stripped of the superfluous, enables the construction works to be accelerated avoiding phases of full scale demolition ground works and structure, all of which are timely and expensive. The available budget can be focused on developing a flexible and dynamic civic amenity which makes much reduced demands on resources.

The introduction of a central internal garden plays an important role in both the appearance of the Police Station and, as an integral part of the buildings new energy concept, in the quality of the working environment.

Reinvention or transformation may be achieved relatively easily by adopting a combination of either subtle or ambitious strategies. From a new coat of paint to a new roof top structure, from the cutting out of floor slabs to dramatic improvements in the thermal and energy performance of the building envelope, from making maximum use of natural daylight to help reduce electrical lighting load to a significant reduction in water consumption, are all integral in a design approach which will combine the retained with the new, the found space with the bespoke in a unique and stimulating facility.



Chicago, IL, USA


Public Building Commission of Chicago


Behnisch Architekten, Los Angeles


727 East 111 th Street
Chicago, IL, USA


Completion of Study 2006


Direct Commission 2006