Daylighting a postmodern historic building

Discover daylighting benefits in a beautiful historical building

What if you could experience the outdoors—minus extreme weather—indoors? Slipstream’s experience with daylight design and advance building techniques brings the wellness benefits of natural light into the Keller Center in Chicago. People working inside this Edward Durrell Stone postmodern masterpiece now have access to the Harris Family Forum at the nucleus of the building. This four-story atrium is the building’s most prominent feature and connects to the outdoors via skylights. It provides an adaptable space for gathering and collaborative work. The holistic design controls the indoor climate while giving people access to the dynamic changes in the seasons and time of day.

Slipstream’s energy and lighting experts applied advanced integrated analysis techniques to help Farr Associates and Anne Kustner Lighting develop the skylight form, performance parameters, and lighting control strategy in line with the overall holistic design vision. Two additional two-story sky courts flank the forum and illuminate the office space below. Light and comfort within the office spaces drove many design and analysis decisions. The team added additional skylights to bring natural light into lower level classrooms, stairwells, and lounge spaces. All these features contributed to the reduction of energy consumption by 50%.

Check out photos of the finished product.

Building Specs

The Harris Family Forum in the Keller Center

125,000 square feet

Historic Edward Durrell Stone postmodern historic building

1307 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL


  • AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award
  • 2020 AIA COTE Top Ten
  • 2019 AIA Chicago Interior Architecture Award
  • 2019 AIA Chicago Small Projects Award (Keller Stair)
  • 2019 ULI Chicago Vision Awards - Excellence in Environmentally Sensitive Design & Community Engagement
  • 2019 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design - Building Renovation Civic Winner
  • 2019 Building Design+Construction Magazine - Reconstruction Sliver Award