Mumford Hall Transformation

The Mumford Hall conversion transforms a cloistered dormitory building and dining hall into an open, communal center for the Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training. The original dormitory rooms are replaced with open plan apartments supporting married cadets. A new elevator and accessible apartments support independent living for the disabled. The enlarged dining hall includes an audio/visual system for lectures, videoconferences, and conferences. The program also included a new central chiller plant.

The modest budget requires that the quality of space is elevated by simple building elements – form, light, and color. Channel glass diffuses direct sunlight and is animated by the silhouette of people walking behind. Skylights allow shafts of daylight to punctuate the diffuse northern light. L-shaped apartment walls stop short to maximize access to daylight and have an accent color giving each unit a unique identity. Impromptu conversations are encouraged by informal seating areas at each entry, lobby, and laundry room. Lounge seating in the dining hall overlooks the quadrangle providing a casual meeting place at the campus center.

The LEED Certified project utilizes cost effective strategies such as superior insulation, air barriers, LED lighting, motion sensor lighting controls, and efficient air handlers that provide significant energy savings at a modest cost. The project has resulted in an annual campus energy cost savings of $42,000.

The transformation of Mumford Hall demonstrates that the thoughtful placement of light, structure, color, and program can provide an uplifting place that is environmentally sensitive and cost effective.

Common materials such as steel studs, drywall, paint, and veneer are composed and animated by light and bring a sense of delight in a cost-effective manner.

Year: 2009
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Area: 27,000 square feet

Key Features

15 student apartments
Campus dining hall
Campus mechanical plant
LEED Certified
Extensive natural light
Occupancy and daylight sensor controls for mechanical lighting
Energy effecient LED light fixtures
Recycled building materials
Green roof to manage stormwater run-off


American Institute of Architects, Chicago, Distinguished Building Award - Interior Architecture, 2011
American Institute of Architects, Northeast Illinois, Excellence in Architecture Award 2009
American Institute of Architects, Illinois, Frank Lloyd Wright Award 2009
Association of Licensed Architects, Design Excellence Award 2009