Skip to content
Hero image

The Theatre School, DePaul University

Chicago, IL
165,000 sq ft

The Theatre School is one of the country’s premier theater conservatories and is the western gateway to the DePaul campus. The building houses the entire program of the school – offices, classrooms, movement and voice rooms, lighting and sound labs, paint and costume shops, and a scene shop on view at street level.

Hero image

The building’s plan and technical requirements were a result of interviews and careful collaboration with the faculty and staff throughout all phases of the design process. The plan was derived through the faculty’s request for ‘controlled chaos’; each floor level is a unique mix of the school’s program, encouraging connections between students, faculty and visitors.

Hero image
The exterior expression of the building is in part a result of the Lincoln Park neighborhood’s restrictive zoning ordinance but is also the result of listening to the school’s wishes to put their creative process on display.


The building houses two performing spaces; the 250-seat thrust stage Healy Theater at the core of the school, and the Fullerton Stage, a 150-seat black box theater cantilevered at the top corner of Racine and Fullerton Avenues.
Hero image
Hero image

Design Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Project Architect: Gina Narracci

2015 AIA Chicago Honor Award
2014 Owner’s Choice Award, Chicago Building Congress Construction Owners Association of America

Photographs © Jeff Goldberg/ESTO