Illinois Tech Awarded Engineering News Record’s ‘Highest Honor’ Best Project Award



By Casey Halas
Kacek Hall Exterior with Student Waling

Illinois Institute of Technology received recognition in the November 2023 issue of Engineering News Record Midwest, one of the most authoritative publications in the construction industry. Illinois Tech and its collaborators, Gilbane Building Co. and Dirk Denison Architects, were awarded the Best Project of the Year for the Midwest in the Residential/Hospitality category for the restoration of three nine-story historic resident halls on Illinois Tech’s Mies Campus.

From June 2019 through July 2020, George J. Kacek Hall, Cunningham Hall, and Carman Hall went through a multiphase restoration project to bring the buildings up to current codes while maintaining the historic design of each building by its original architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The renovation of each building was designed by Illinois Tech Professor Dirk Denison (ARCH ’83).

Kacek Hall and Cunningham Hall were restored to incorporate 570 modified pod-style beds with common spaces, while Carman Hall includes 200 apartment-style dorms. The project was successfully completed ahead of schedule by about three months due to the efficient and speedy efforts of the building team, allowing students to use the facilities by the start of the fall 2020 semester. The Best Project award is the highest honor bestowed by ENR and qualifies Illinois Tech for consideration at the national level.