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Three Innovative Projects Honored by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design
Landon Bone Baker Receives First Place for Roseland Senior Campus; Wheeler Kearns Architects Wins Second Place for Inspiration Kitchens-Garfield Park; John Ronan Architects Wins Third Place for Gary Comer College Prep

For high resolution photos please visit: http://bit.ly/zwYhg8
For video clips please visit: http://clients.anglepark.com/cnda/

CHICAGO (February 28, 2012) – Three local architecture firms have been honored with the 2012 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, which recognizes designs that improve the quality of life in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago), the awards were presented at the 18th annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA) and celebrated 15 years of Richard H. Driehaus Foundation awards. Landon Bone Baker Architects received first place for Roseland Senior Campus; Wheeler Kearns received second place for Inspiration Kitchens-Garfield Park; and John Ronan Architects took third place for Gary Comer College Prep.

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design was created, in conjunction with CNDA, to encourage development that respects and strengthens the city’s unmatched architectural heritage, especially in neighborhoods confronting economic and social challenge. Each year, the award recognizes three developments that are making a significant contribution to the social, visual and cultural life of their neighborhoods through quality of design.

First Place ($15,000)
Landon Bone Baker Architects for Roseland Senior Campus – Recognizing the needs of the Roseland neighborhood’s aging population, Landon Bone Baker Architects—funded by the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS)—designed a comprehensive project that provides seniors with a safe and comfortable atmosphere in their own neighborhood. The campus, located at South Michigan Avenue and 104th Street, comprises the intergenerational “Grandfamily” building and the Independent Living Facility (ILF), which are connected by an enclosed courtyard/garden to the existing supportive care building.

The ILF blends in with the neighborhood by pulling the five-story portion of the building away from Michigan Avenue, creating an expansive green space. A step-back design allows for greater light and air toward Michigan Avenue, and the Grandfamily building was lowered to two stories to fit in more comfortably with the single family context of the neighborhood. Colorful blue and green siding and modular brick were used on the building facades. Facing outward, the buildings provide a vibrant face to a relatively depressed stretch of a main road through the Roseland community.

A garden and play space for grandchildren develop a sense of community and promote senior wellness by supporting an independent lifestyle while providing enhanced accessibility and services for those with needs.

Using a state affordable housing energy grant, Landon Bone Baker installed additional insulation, air sealing, energy-efficient equipment and lighting to reduce costs and enhance energy efficiency. The building also boasts permeable paved parking lots, green roofs, and landscaping that responsibly reduces storm water run-off. Large windows allow for greater natural light in the building lobby and family solarium.

In designing the $16.7 million development, Landon Bone Baker gave new architectural life to a once vacant, debris filled property on South Michigan Avenue. 

“It was important to Roseland to have affordable senior housing in the neighborhood so its residents could age in their own community,” said Jeff Bone, principal, Landon Bone Baker. “We made it our priority to consult with the community to better respond to their specific needs.”

Second Place ($3,000)
Wheeler Kearns Architects for Inspiration Kitchens-Garfield Park – Once an abandoned manufacturing structure adjacent to Garfield Park, a one story brick building on the southwest side at 3504 W Lake Street now stands as a stunning example of “adaptive reuse.” Wheeler Kearns transformed the almost windowless 1906 building into a light-filled restaurant, training center and community space. Inspiration Kitchen’s dual use as a restaurant and training facility allows neighbors affected by poverty to eat well, develop marketable skills and ultimately increase self-sufficiency. The restaurant provides meals at no cost to low-income East Garfield Park residents.

Funded by the Inspiration Corporation, Wheeler Kearns dreamed up a new life for the $1.5 million project. A wide façade of windows now open up the interior and illuminate the street at night. High ceilings, brick walls and exposed beams of locally reclaimed wood make the restaurant intimate and warm, while maintaining the original urban loft feel of the building. Intricate woodwork on the central walls shrouds a classroom/meeting room, storage spaces and a computer alcove provided for community use.

Wheeler Kearns also had sustainability in mind in the design for Inspiration Kitchens. North facing skylights of high performance glass allow natural light to enter during the day and hold down energy costs.  Energy efficient kitchen equipment further reduces energy costs and environmental damage, while solar thermal panels provide the energy to process hot water for the training and service kitchens. A sustainable garden has transformed the once-vacant lot into a vibrant urban green space that provides a backdrop for diners and cooks in training, and fresh herbs and vegetables for the restaurant.

“Our goal with Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park was to build a true triple bottom line project— one that had economic, social, and sustainability goals,” said Larry Kearns, co-founder of Wheeler Kearns. “I think the team succeeded on all three fronts and created a place that has an artful spirit, too.”

Third Place ($2,000)
John Ronan Architects for Gary Comer College Prep – The success of the Gary Comer Youth Center—first place winner of the 2007 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award— brought a new sense of hope to the Grand Crossing neighborhood. Seeking to build on that success, the community began organizing through block clubs and neighborhood meetings to build a charter high school. John Ronan Architects was commissioned for this $15 million project and strove to build a building that would inspire students and reflect the school’s philosophy that with grit, zest and optimism, anything is possible.
The school uses the cafeteria, music and art rooms at the adjacent youth center, so students travel between the two buildings throughout the day. With that in mind, John Ronan designed a true campus. Green, corrugated stainless steel cladding brightens the landscape of the surrounding area and binds the school to the brightly colored youth center. While the perforated metal siding exterior serves to keep the building cool it also provides a transparency that reflects the schools philosophy of openness— a theme carried out throughout the building.

Interior glass walls allow visual access to class rooms and lecture halls. Skylights and walls of windows transmit abundant light and vibrant graphics create a spacious, uplifting atmosphere. Completing the “campus” feeling is a cloistered courtyard which provides a place for students and faculty to gather away from the street.

“I think that through the building’s daylighting strategies, the graphics that we incorporated into the architecture, and especially in the glazing in the corridor that allows views into the classroom, we were seeking to not only reflect the school’s culture, but to shape it through design, and that’s something we're very proud of and we feel is very successful here," said John Ronan, principal, John Ronan Architects.

About CNDA

This year’s ceremony, held at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, attracted more than 1400 people, including CNDA chair Wim Elfrink, executive vice president and chief globalization officer of Cisco, and leaders of Chicago’s non-profit, corporate and philanthropic sectors.  A forum, following a fast-paced presentation style, was held prior to the award ceremony. Four city leaders from varying fields presented their five big ideas for making the 21st century city.

Established in 1995, CNDA recognizes outstanding achievements in neighborhood real estate development and community building, especially the achievements of community development corporations, other community-based organizations, and for-profit developers working to build healthier neighborhoods in the Chicago metropolitan area.  Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago) manages the awards, in keeping with its mission to combine corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize city neighborhoods. LISC Chicago has invested $179 million in local comprehensive development programs, leveraging an additional $4.7 billion in community investment from other sources. The result is 29,000 units of affordable housing, over 5 million square feet of commercial space, and a variety of social and economic development programs.

“Community development is a complicated business and requires the participation of many people and institutions – from neighborhood residents to government officials, corporate leaders, developers and architects,” said Susana L. Vasquez, LISC Chicago’s executive director. “Our purpose at the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards is to acknowledge and celebrate those individuals and organizations whose ingenuity and creativity make Chicago such a great city.”
This year’s awards are generously underwritten by:

Allstate; Bank of America; BMO Harris Bank; Charter One; Chase; The Chicago Community Trust; Cisco; Citi; LISC/Chicago; Northern Trust; PNC; Polk Bros. Foundation; The Private Bank; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; State Farm; US Bank; Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, PC; Brinshore Development; Camiros, Ltd.; Chicago Bears; Chicago Community Loan Fund; Cole Taylor Bank; Community Reinvestment Fund; Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.; Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; Fifth Third Bank ; FirstMerit Bank; The Habitat Company; Holsten Real Estate Development; Illinois Housing Development Authority; MB Financial Bank; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Matanky Realty; Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C.; National Equity Fund; Reznick Group; Teska Associates, Inc.; Urban Development Fund, LLC; Urban Partnership Bank; and The Walsh Group.

For more information, visit www.lisc-cnda.org.

For high resolution photos please visit: http://bit.ly/zwYhg8
For video clips please visit: http://clients.anglepark.com/cnda/