Gads Hill Center is a non-profit youth education and family resource organization that serves the southwest neighborhoods of Chicago by providing learning support and educational enrichment, early childhood development, and out-of-school care for children. JGMA helped to identify and evaluate existing, unutilized structures in the Brighton Park neighborhood to create a bold new vision for a new early education center that would be as expressive and empowering as Gads Hill
The selected existing building on Archer Avenue was cobbled together over varying decades and is a patchwork of dissimilar brick and styles. At some point in the past, an adjacent building had been built over the property lines, resulting in sections of the property that are only accessible from the neighboring businesses. JGMA’s design embraced the eclecticness of the existing facades, unifying them into a backdrop to which we insert a fun pattern of projected, box-windows. The new windows create an exterior expression of the carefree activities happening inside. And rather than making complex, costly plans to rejoin the lost corner of the property, we simply removed the structure, turning the area into an outdoor courtyard and playground.