Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance

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Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance


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  • Location:Chicago, IL
  • Precaster:Prestress Services, Inc.
  • Specialty Precast Engineer:The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. - IL
  • Architect:Hammond Beeby Rupert Aigne Architects
  • Contractor:Clark Construction

One of the most unique projects CEG Inc. has engineered is the Harris Theater. The theater seats 1500 in an underground auditorium, located directly below Grant Park. The entire roof is part of the parks and is covered with soil and plantings weighing up to 500 pounds per square foot in some areas. Being located underground preserves the landscape of Millennium Park and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago’s outdoor performance venue. The Reception, however, opens up at ground level on Randolph Road. The ground level entrance is welcoming with a full façade of glass that exposes the internal metallic and neon floors. Concrete framing within the reception supports the minimalist and modest theme seen throughout the theater.

CEG teamed with Prestress Services, Inc. to value-engineer a structural solution in precast concrete, due to the cast and schedule of a domestic steel frame proved to be unworkable. The main roof consists of 108’ bulb tees carried by 30”x54” girders and 30” columns, together creating a 65’ high audience hall above stage level.

Completed in 2003, the Harris Theater has become a cornerstone of the magnificent Millennium Park.