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Joseph Brenneman Elementary School, Chicago, IL, Elevations

A work made of graphite on paper.

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  • A work made of graphite on paper.


c. 1960


Bertrand Goldberg
American, 1913–1997

About this artwork

In the early 1960s, Goldberg began developing a new, less costly method of concrete construction for low-rise buildings. Unlike the core structure of Marina City, his design for the Joseph Brenneman Elementary School in Chicago featured lightweight sprayed concrete and formwork to allow more flexible configurations of interior space. In keeping with Goldberg’s humanist goals for the architectural profession, he placed special emphasis on the design and programming of educational buildings, which he believed should express the highest values of society. Unlike many schools’ rigid institutional quality, Brenneman’s classrooms were designed as individual sculptural shells, offering the intimate experience of a one-room schoolhouse, in close proximity to areas for group activity. Goldberg’s unconventional flaring shell classrooms contain individual lockers and high windows that allow light to pour into the classroom—features designed to promote student creativity and emotional connections to the educational process.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Bertrand Goldberg (Architect)


Joseph Brenneman Elementary School, Chicago, IL, Elevations


Chicago (Building address)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Designed 1955–1965


Graphite on paper


56.3 × 86 cm (22 3/16 × 33 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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