Back to top
GEMS Americas
bKL Architecture
Darris Lee Harris Photography
Property Manager/Owner's Rep
Chicago – Lakeshore East
296,000 sf

Lower School - The 12-story elementary school is the first of its kind in the United States from the international GEMS Education and features state-of-the-art classrooms, specialized laboratories, multi-purpose room with climbing wall, full service kitchen/cafeteria, library, faculty offices, teacher’s lounge and rooftop play area.
Unique building features include extra wide stairways, hallway benches, and technology collaboration nooks for student engagement and collaboration. Southern facing classrooms providing park views and natural light. All classrooms feature adjustable furniture to promote group learning and large touchscreen connections to the international GEMS community.  The enclosure features a multi-color “barcode” design helping distinguish the building from adjacent multi-family towers.
Upper School - Located on Wacker Drive and strategically positioned to overlook the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, the 15-story GEMS Middle-Upper School features 7-stories of classrooms, 2-stories of auditorium space, an internal drop off with 3 levels of parking, a gymnasium, rooftop turf for extracurriculars, and high-tech spaces to encourage innovation.  Common areas and event space are located on the ground floors, while classrooms and learning spaces are located on the upper levels, to maximize natural light and views of Lake Michigan for staff and students.  To align with GEMS integrative approach to sustainability, our team facilitated the installation of a Wind Turbine on the rooftop of the middle-upper school building
As part of GEMS World Academy's integrative approach to sustainability, cooling is provided from a local existing plant, which reduces the building's mechanical functions, and produces more usable program areas throughout the campus. 

Awards + Certifications

Best of the Midwest

K-12 – ENR – 2015