Garrett Rock

Studio Ten, Spring 2013

The Washington Square Sleep Center is a space for rehabilitation by fusing a clinical component with a private art collection. The integration of these two complex and opposing programs in such a dense site provides a dynamic interplay between private-public and night-day.

The private art collection wraps around the sleep center, nesting the sleep rooms and technologist spaces in the center of the site. Two large courtyards separate public from private while instigating views between programs. The courtyards also introduce conditions of mutability between times of the day. The sleep rooms have a motorized shading device that opens during the day allowing uninterrupted views to the art collection.

The street wall, composed of a profiled glass curtain wall, conceals the sleep center during the day but exposes the control rooms as they become illuminated at night. The main entrance into the building is the same for all visitors; a series of thresholds open and close according to time allowing the appropriate barrier between the two users while blurring the boundaries.

Featured project at IIT College of Architecture Open House 2012.


The site faces Washington Square Park, a small green space in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. The northern extent of the site functions as circulation while two main courtyards offset the majority of the program into layers away from the busy front facade on Clark Street.


(Above, top) The dialogue between night and day began with a detailed exploration of the relationship of adjacencies and user groups. The relative size of each circle corresponds to the floor area while notes remark the appropriate furnishings and conditions.

During the night, the public components are deactivated while the technologist spaces and control room become the hub of activity in both day and night conditions.

The different user groups form a web of connectivity where components are activated and deactivated.

(Above, bottom) Incorporating the time specificity of the dual programmatic arrangement, this series of isometric diagrams, beginning with the sleep patients arrival at 6:00PM, helps to qualify the activation and deactivation of the program.


The technologist workroom, offices, and the control center are placed at the edge of the site. The light omitted from these spaces shows through onto the street wall, a curtain wall composed of channel glass.


The section through the center of the site reveals the use of the courtyard as visual linkage between the diverse elements of the sleep center’s program. The sleep rooms and art gallery are left with uninterrupted views knowing that as one is occupied, the other will be empty.

The sections at the north end of the site reveals the main circulation for all user groups. A series of thresholds in the corridor open and close at particular times in the day to provide the appropriate physical separation.


Vital information relating to a sleep research study is gathering while the patient is sleeping. The conduit is linked through a bedside cabinet where it is connected to a nearby control room via a horizontal chase.

The sleep research center contains eight sleep rooms total, four on the first floor and four on the second floor. Each sleep room is equipped with a private restroom, climate control system, and motorized shading device.

The public art gallery and private sleep center share a central courtyard. The views between the two are mediated by the time of occupancy; the sleep rooms are only used at night when the gallery is closed.


The art collection is meant as a private exhibition for a privileged few. Visitors are scheduled ahead of time in small groups to visit in hour increments between 10:00AM and 6:00PM. Visitors to the art collection are ushered through a series of thresholds within the same corridor, slipping past the entrance to the sleep center. The theatre on the third floor may also be used for small public screenings; entry is granted in the reverse direction.

In collaboration with Prof. Leslie Johnson.