Benedictine University Coal Ben5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532
Design Achievement – The Coal Ben building dates back to 1901 when it served as a coal storage facility for the Benedictine University campus. DLR Group’s design transforms this abandoned, unused building into a multi-use gathering space with a restaurant, bar, and cafe for students, faculty, and the surrounding community. The building retains the original coal storage atmosphere through the use of exposed masonry and concrete flooring, while updating the building with modern systems and a fresh new palette of colors to partition the interior spaces.
Scope Summary – The scope for this project was an adaptive-reuse and renovation of a 5,000 SF building. The Coal Ben includes a complete interior demolition and reconstruction along with a new highly efficient and sustainable roofing system. The original lift crane was cleaned and continues to overlook the space. Because the building was never a mechanically controlled environment, much of the existing material from the demolition was reused. The original floor is now located in the basement of the space and houses new mechanical and electrical equipment. Steel plate floors were designed into unique light fixtures that line both side passages, while redwood floor planks were refinished to become the floor for the exterior deck. DLR Group provided architectural design services for this project.