Oakton Community College, Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center
The Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center functions as the pedestrian gateway building for Oakton Community College and serves as an example of the school’s vision for the future. The site is located within the 100-year floodplain of the Des Plaines River which required the building’s first floor to be built 7’ above the existing grade. To complement this new facility, Hitchcock Design Group developed a site plan that created compelling, hospitable and accessible entries to the new gateway building and makes strong connections to the existing pedestrian system, parking and neighboring buildings while also affording users views of the adjacent woodlands and Lake Oakton. Site features include an outdoor classroom with chalkboard, power, data and Wi-Fi, permeable paving, 100% native landscape, prairie, savanna and woodland display and research plots (to be used by the Ecology Department) and large bio-infiltration areas adjacent to parking lots which helped the project receive LEED Gold designation.
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“They work in a very collaborative manner in discussions and presentations. They make sure you fully understand it. If there are any questions at all, they can help you with it.”
“With Hitchcock, I felt like they really went above and beyond, and they’re extremely responsive. They take more of a leadership role, which is helpful, especially with a complicated project.”
“They’ve earned our trust. They listen to us and come back with solutions that really meet our needs. They let you start to dream …”
“Some architects will just say ‘how dare you!’ but Hitchcock encourages changes. Relationships and creativity is what it boils down to—it’s why I like them the best and what sets them apart from others.”
“Hitchcock thinks beyond straight lines and 90-degree angles.”
Cee Cee Hodgson
“Their work comes with a level of empathy with the user to say ‘it’s more than plants. How can this be an uplifting space? How can this invigorate someone?’ That’s different. That’s unique.”
“Hitchcock goes out of their way to make sure they’re responsive, helpful, and doing things that aren’t necessarily their responsibility. They’re just all-around quality. Any project that I do going forward they will always, always be included in my RFP, whether it’s city or suburban.”
“What keeps coming back to me is their willingness, their ability, and their responsiveness to help manage the situation at hand.”
“One of Hitchcock’s strengths is the amount of work they put in when they’re getting to know a community. They show you they really understand the issues your community is considering. They’re very thorough in their approach. It’s clear they’ve done their homework.”
“Communication, creativity, meeting timeliness, meeting institutional expectations; we’re not an easy client. Hitchcock goes out of their way to work with us.”