Chicago, IL, United States
Located in one of the most unique areas within all of Chicago, the former Magid glove headquarters site is particularly distinctive due to one key feature: its context. Located at a cross section between commercial buildings, residential units, and transportation railways, the site serves as the joining connective tissue that merges three very different typologies together at one singular location.
Among this context, however, is an element immediately adjacent that adds to this already distinctive location, the beginning and/or terminus of Chicago's infamous 606 Bloomingdale trail. Located in the area that is less frequently visited in relation to its western portion, this linkage provides a unique gateway and thoroughfare directly to the east side of our city and vice versa. A linear and direct neighborhood connection between east and west. On The 606’s eastern terminus will be the future location of the Lincoln Yards development, which represents an exceptional urban opportunity for The 606 to serve as the connector within both this surrounding neighborhood and greater Chicago area.
The design plans for a phase I and phase II scenario, where there are 74 affordable unit plans in phase I and 130 units in phase II. The entire master plan provides a distinctive campus environment where public park is thought of as an extension of The 606, where private park spaces are provided for residents as well as secured and private spaces for early childhood education.
The layout of the master plan includes lower scale townhomes to the north that border existing residential context and mid- rise affordable housing developments that frame the eastern, southern and western portions of the site. This provides an opportunity for an intimate plaza indoor park for the current residents. another important aspect of the design is the exploration of what visibility means in affordable housing developments. Within each unit of this comprehensive masterplan approach is a careful analysis of resident’s views back towards the Chicago skyline as well as a direct vantage point back to the 606 Bloomingdale trail development. activating all sides of the site for the residents who inhabit this incredible space.
Overall, Encuentro Square is a place for health, healing, and exploration that is driven by a design that encourages the relationship between residents and their connection with nature and their surroundings. The organizing partí is an interwoven, permeable fabric that binds housing with neighboring communities, the city of Chicago, and an innate connection with the surrounding world.
AWARDS + RECOGNITION