The North and Pulaski Development is the repurposing of an existing 1920’s bowling alley and billiards hall which has an ornate, Spanish-revival style, terra-cotta facade that is largely intact. Because of the original program of the building, the structure has large free spans and high ceilings, which allows for maximum flexibility in space layout. Based on in-depth contextual studies of the Humboldt Park neighborhood, JGMA determined a distinct need for a medical center, a fitness center, and a charter school at the project site.
The program is organized so that the health center occurs in the existing structure with the fitness center in an additional level above. This allows for these program elements to share an entrance lobby. The charter school is located on the empty site adjacent to the existing building, allowing the unique program to have its own secure entrance and extend upward to provide inspiring views to downtown Chicago.
A glass and perforated corten steel envelope encloses the entire new structure, creating a unified building massing which respects the existing building lightly touching it. The rusty appearance of the corten material also plays well with the existing building by providing an aesthetic to the contemporary geometry that appears to have existed with the original structure.