Chicago, IL, United States
RK5 envisioned this project from a perspective of evolution, we did not invoke perception nor pre-conceived notion about this site’s future, instead, we allowed the process to run its natural course and allow ourselves to immerse in the history of North Lawndale, absorb its glorious past, and nurture those elements for adaptation to a development concept that addresses each of the RFP goals and objectives.
We challenged ourselves not to accept the easiest transactional path – a non-descript industrial warehouse with outdoor playlots as space fillers. But to truly engage with the site, the surrounding Community, and its Residents and Stakeholders, to better understand North Lawndale and the decades of false starts and empty promises.
Our concept suggests a unique combination of community spaces including a community center, athletic facilities, as well as a commercial laundry facility and industrial buildings which focus on Community Benefit and Equity and Inclusion, but most importantly, on Design Excellence. The design creatively stitches together these typically non-complimentary uses by allowing the neighboring context to inform site placement and creates a unified campus. Every aspect of our project places an emphasis on this North Lawndale community and reinforcing Design Excellence throughout.
Of particular note is the design of the industrial buildings which place an emphasis on the people working within by bringing in daylight and dignity to the workplace. Our design also provides a critical link to an abandoned rail line which bisects the site. The former rail, will become an integral part of our public programs providing outdoor space, gathering areas, public art and music venues for the North Lawndale residents.
Additionally, this project is envisioned and intended to provide the following community benefits for the North Lawndale community:
-Pioneering redevelopment of a historic neighborhood
-Encourage economic, professional and commercial investment diversity at the community level
-Promote retail development on the Roosevelt Av. Corridor
-Provide significant jobs
-Promote education & career development opportunities
AWARDS + RECOGNITION