Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Lisle, Illinois

  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Project Description


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) oversees reactor safety and security, radioactivity material safety, and reactor licensing among other things. This facility for the NRC is one of four such facilities in the United States, as it contains an Incident Response Center (IRC), used for monitoring potentially threatening incidents involving NRC-regulated activities.


Mekus Tanager was hired to design expansion space for NRC's Region Office in Chicago (Region III). The program required the enlarged IRC and associated rooms to be strategically positioned for security and ease of access for staff.


The expressive new facility entry was conceived to be abstractly reminiscent of certain components associated with nuclear power – transformers and overhead high voltage wiring for instance, providing a dynamic setting. The waiting area is an open and inviting space for visitors. Custom designed furniture was created for the project.


The IRC was designed to provide direct sightlines between all areas in the room with extensive use of glass walls. While the space was organized around the IRC, staff are positioned to allow them access to daylighting and views of the outdoors. Floor areas are ultra efficient. Sound deadening gypsum board ceilings and walls and acoustical panels help prevent sound echoing. Lighting is dimmable. An extensive use of monitors on the walls provide a visual connection to the other NRC facilities as well as satellite TV. This space also features custom designed furniture. Sustainable materials and lighting were incorporated into the design.


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Mekus Tanager is a planning and design firm. Since 1984, Mekus Tanager has been helping our clients turn their buildings and spaces into well-designed strategic assets that maximize aesthetic beauty, function and purpose, and return on investment. We are committed to listening to and working with our clients as a true partner throughout the design process.


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