University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Completed

SSA was designed by one of Chicago's most celebrated architects, Mies van der Rohe and was completed in 1965.

During this period, the University was expanding and architecture on the south side of the midway was intended to contrast the rest of the University's Gothic style with a "Who's Who" of modern architecture. Neighboring buildings include the Law School, designed by Eero Saarinen, and the New Graduate Residence Hall, designed by Edward Durrel Stone.

Mies van der Rohe was noted for his unconventional use of materials. Steel girders and brick, normally restricted to the exterior of buildings, were used by Mr. van der Rohe for interior design. The huge expanses of glass are also characteristic of his work, and serve to make less of a barrier between the outside and inside of the building.

SSA's enormous lobby is a major feature of the building. This large "public" space is particularly appropriate for a school of social work and, in fact, it serves year-round as the social place, not only for functions and events, but for daily student socializing, study groups, and meetings.

The School of Social Service Administration had ties to the University of Chicago from its very beginnings, and in 1920 it became a formal part of the University. The SSA building, pictured above, was designed by celebrated architect Mies van der Rohe in 1965, a striking contrast to the rest of the University’s Gothic style.