The Gerald Ratner Athletics Center is located on the campus of the University of Chicago, on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. The building complex is used by college students, faculty, staff, and community residents and is surrounded by other neighborhood and university buildings such as classrooms, a hospital, theater, library, dormitory, and parking garage.
The 150,000 square foot building contains a natatorium (an indoor swimming pool), a competition-sized gymnasium, a practice gym, a dance studio, weight lifting rooms, exercise rooms, locker rooms, and offices.
The building was a design partnership between two architecture firms: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects(formerly Cesar Pelli Architects) of New Haven, Connecticut and Cannon Design (formerly OWP/P Architects) of Chicago, Illinois. Pelli Clarke Pelli was the main design architect, responsible for the overall 'look and feel' and design of the building. Cannon Design served as the Architect of Record and was responsible for designing the building details and structural engineering, figuring out how it was to be constructed, developing the set of construction drawings, and overseeing construction.