The design for the Hahn Street development in Elmhurst, Illinois includes 200 residential dwellings while continuing the commercial uses of the downtown along York Street. Secondly, the scheme recognizes the materiality of its context. Drawing inspiration from a plethora of local building stock, the proposal implements a variety of palettes of color, opacity, and texture, allowing it to flow seamlessly within the City of Elmhurst. Next, the building design is strict in its articulation of scale, in so doing the design adheres to the scale of the adjacent two and three story buildings, relative to its increased density. Lastly, this project provides usable green space in both public and private capacities. This type of space was noticeably lacking in our team’s investigation and is of the utmost importance for social interaction and recreation in urban environments.
The design responds to the unique urban conditions apparent on the site by creating a double height retail space at the Northeast corner topped with a residential block extending up to seven stories, thereby creating an identifiable icon and gateway into downtown. Although retail space maintains the street edge all along York Street, it recedes at the north end, creating a stepped ramp leading up to an urban plaza where people can gather. Furthermore, this space is intended to be used in conjunction with an indoor/outdoor farmers market and a community health center. It also provides an optimal place to view Elmhurst’s numerous parades, festivals, and bike races.
The proposed design deeply considers the sustainability of downtown Elmhurst itself, and all design decisions have been made with the long-term success of the City of Elmhurst Comprehensive Masterplan in mind.