Eyas Landing -
Merlin Day Academy
Avondale, Chicago, Illinois
Location: 3319 N Elston Ave
Size: 22,000 sf
Category: Education, Office
Services: Interiors, Adaptive Reuse
Jason Nuttelman, Kai Liu, Jose C. Garcia, & Emily Wilson
SEEK is honored to have worked alongside Eyas Landing in the development of their new Merlin Day Academy location, a full-day academic program that focuses on multidisciplinary therapy in a school-like setting for children and adolescents. This project is the transformation of an existing 22,000 sf 2-story brick and steel building into specialized educational spaces, including classrooms, treatment rooms, therapy rooms, conference rooms and administrative offices.
The existing parking was partially transformed into an outdoor playground for the students. The entry sequence along Elston Ave is accessible, while providing a new refined look that responds to Eyas Landing and the Merlin Day Academy. New architectural elements include an integrated wheelchair ramp with planter and areas for signage, a school mural, and the main entrance canopy framing the main entrance while providing a protected entry point. The new dedicated school entry at the South facade provides students and faculty easy access to the playground and drop-off areas.
A distinctive branded mural visually links the two entry points and extends the Eyas/Merlin branding across the building facade. The challenge for the educational interiors of the school involved adapting the existing building conditions to create inviting public entry and reception areas while cultivating calm, soothing learning environments. The clean formal composition of the lobby space is paired with relaxing color tones and warm lighting, highlighted by an expansive exposed ceiling and distinctive linear lighting.