For Immediate Release

Contact: Marilyn Katz

312.822.0505 |


Winning Firm Selected in The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation’s Architecture Design Competition for a Mixed-Use Art Space in Chicago’s Historic Pullman Neighborhood


August 12, 2015 (Chicago) – After a competitive six month architectural design competition, made possible by a generous grant from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Chicago-based firm, VOA Associates, Inc., have won the competition and been named architects on the Pullman Artspace project. 


Pullman Artspace will be an affordable mixed-use art space with live/work artist housing and ample community space suitable for classes, exhibitions and workshops located in the newly designated National Monument historic Pullman neighborhood. This is the first new residential housing to be created in the Pullman Historic District in decades. The project is being developed in collaboration with Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI), Minneapolis based Artspace Projects, and PullmanArts


Each of the competing architectural firms were required to  design an infill building that joined two existing historic block houses at 111th and Langley into a unified development that can accommodate up to 45 artist live/work apartments. 


“The overall goal of the design competition was to engage an architectural team that could design a building to honor the history and character of Pullman’s landmark community, attract artist from outside the community, create a space that spurs creativity, and integrate the building into the built and human fabric of the community,” said David Doig, President of CNI. “VOA Associates’ exceptional design and experience in adaptive reuse of buildings has the potential to bring a new group of unique residents to the Pullman community.”


The competition began in January 2015 with a request for qualification to Chicago architects and architectural teams that had prior experience with multi-family tax-credit-financed housing, a commitment to sustainable architecture and experience in designing new buildings that reinforce historic context. Twenty firms submitted qualifications with ten semi-finalist teams being selected to provide- concept drawings depicting overall plans, elevations and sample layouts for individual units and community space. Three finalists were awarded $10,000 each to further develop their concept plans for review by the competition jury. With a compelling design to integrate new construction with historic preservation, VOA Associates emerged as the overall winner.


“Really the first new structure to be built in the Pullman Historic District, Pullman Artspace is a perfect example of adaptive reuse - putting existing vacant buildings and land back to productive use with  a design that will meet contemporary needs while  referencing and honoring  Pullman’s legacy as a destination for skilled craftsman, artisans and artists,” said Doig.


About Artspace Projects, Inc.

Artspace is America’s leader in artist-led community transformation. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington DC, Artspace runs a network of 38 affordable arts facilities in 13 states. Representing a $500 million investment in America's arts infrastructure. Artspace projects provide more than 1,500 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as millions of square feet of non-residential space for artists, arts organizations and creative enterprises. Of the 38 developments across the country, three are located in the Chicagoland area, including the Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago proper, downtown Elgin and downtown Waukegan, IL. Additional information is available at


About PullmanArts:

The mission of PullmanArts is to protect, preserve and promote Pullman as a unique, major arts hub. Historically, the original company town of Pullman was built to be an exceptionally beautiful place that would attract and retain the best artisans and craftsmen to build luxurious Pullman Palace Cars. Today, the City, State and National Historic Landmark District of Pullman continues to entice and inspire a diversity of artists, whose creativity immeasurably enriches the community. In partnership with Artspace, Inc. and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, PullmanArts is working to build and program a major artist live/work space in Pullman. The project will entail of combination of new construction and adaptive re-use of historic, two multi-unit apartment buildings. PullmanArts also partnered with a range of local, regional and national groups to advance Pullman being designated as a National Historical Monument.


About Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI):

CNI is a neighborhood-based community development organization that had its beginnings over a decade ago as Pullman Bank Initiatives. Formally launched as an independent organization on July 1, 2010, CNI achieved its federal tax-exempt status in August of the same year. To further its charitable purpose, CNI works collaboratively in low- to moderate- income communities to identify and implement high impact projects that promote economic development and community revitalization; combat community deterioration; create training and job opportunities for local residents; and create, rehabilitate and preserve affordable housing.


About The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation:

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation is committed to enhancing the vitality of Chicago through support of quality architectural and landscape design, historic preservation, conservation of open space, and the performing and visual arts. The Foundation also supports efforts to ameliorate the effects of low wages and to use investigative reporting to strengthen our democracy.