Location: Chicago - Pilsen/Chinatown
Scope: New Construction
The IDEAhaus is a new Chicago Institution. Owned and operated by the City of Chicago, IDEAhaus is a network of buildings spread out across Chicago intended to establish a framework for community involvement and engagement. Individually, each building is defined by the specific needs of its site and context providing places for the community to meet, make and perform, fostering public programs and potentials that are as diverse as the network of neighborhoods that make up Chicago.
This IDEAhaus is located within the Pilsen/Chinatown area of Chicago, and the program a Hyperlocal Neighborhood Convention Center: a stark contrast to the globally centric McCormick Place located just up the road. This is a flexible space that is home to school plays, birthday partied, police beat meetings, sporting events, you name it. The site is located within a twenty minutes from three train stations, a block from a major bus route, and just minutes off of the interstate.
The first floor form and layout was derived from overlaying the offset grids of the river’s edge and city street grid. The result is an angular geometry that creates a sunken plaza at the front, an angled facade that draws activity into the space, and an exterior space along the river. On the second floor, the form is still derived from the grid, but where the river kinks, the building form moves opposite so as to shape views to the city skyline. The final building form is regulated by a series of structural concrete planes, floor slabs, and a glass enclosure.
A cantilever and passing planes indicate the entry to the building, and once inside, the occupant is greeted by flexible space comprised of accordion walls that open to the river and street allowing activity to flow out, sliding screens which divide breakout rooms, and a basketball court that folds down to become an auditorium.
2016: AIA Illinois Student Design Honor Award
2015: IIT College of Architecture Spring Award Nominee