June 7, 2019

Corvias and the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) announced today the renovation of Bailey Hall, which will provide new living space for 330 freshmen and sophomores by Fall Semester of 2020, the scheduled completion time, as part of Illinois Institute of Technology’s student housing program. The partnership is comprised of Corvias for development and management, Dirk Denison Architects for design and Gilbane Building Company for construction.

“This partnership solves for modern, sustainable housing, providing a vibrant new living experience for our first and second year students while revitalizing this historic and prominent part of our campus,” says Bruce Watts, vice president for facilities and public safety at Illinois Tech.

Founder and CEO of Corvias, John Picerne added, “By engaging Dirk Denison as architect, we arrived at a solution that thinks of the students’ needs first, enveloped in preservation and celebration of the Mies design.” This partnership adds to the more than 30 public-private partnerships Corvias has in the United States.

“It is truly rare to have the chance to renovate a Mies building,” said Dirk Denison, an alumnus of Illinois Tech and a long-term faculty member of the College of Architecture. “We asked ourselves, how do we extend its legacy for today’s way of living?”

The project includes interior renovations and exterior facade replacement of the historic Mies Van der Rohe-designed Bailey Hall. Originally built in 1955, this nine-story, 74,000 SF on-campus dormitory was decommissioned in 2007. The renovation project will incorporate 330 beds with residential common spaces on the ground floor and lower level.

The approach to Bailey Hall’s interior adapts the original floor plan to the needs of students today, to foster student interactions. At ground level, residents will enter into a transparent lobby whose interior is kept spatially and materially the same as Mies’s original design. The redesign fully reconfigures the basement, taking advantage of unused space to insert an open staircase connecting the lobby with new gathering areas, shared resources, including recreation room, laundry, and a collaboration space below.

Renovations provide eight levels of accessible single and double rooms arranged in a “pod” style. Each floor is conceived as a social unit defined by large study and social areas. Rooms pinwheel around these communal nodes, linked by corridors that extend all the way to the facade, offering additional daylight with city and lake views. Working with extensive energy modeling, the project also updates the building’s mechanical systems and envelope, improving efficiency, thermal comfort, safety, and ease of maintenance. Denison described the new Bailey Hall as a “low-impact, healthy building.”

Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university. Illinois Tech is the only university of its kind in Chicago, and its Chicago location offers students access to the world-class resources of a great global metropolis. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 21 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities, Illinois Tech provides an exceptional education centered on active learning, and its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Illinois Tech uniquely prepares students to succeed in professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Visit

As a privately-owned company headquartered in East Greenwich, RI, Corvias partners with higher education and government institutions nationwide to solve their most essential systemic problems and create long-term, sustainable value through our unique approach to partnership. Corvias pursues the kinds of partnerships that materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for the people who call our communities home, purposefully choosing to partner with organizations who share our values and whose mission is to serve as the foundational blocks, or pillars, of our nation. To learn more, please visit:



Kelly Douglas, Corvias