SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center / Studio Gang Architects


Architect: Studio Gang Architects
Location: Chicago, IL,
Owner: SOS Children’s Villages
Completion: 2008
Photographs: Steve Hall @ Hedrich Blessing

SOS community center combines services for foster care families and neighborhood families in one building. SOS is an international not-for-profit agency committed to training foster parents and reuniting siblings.

floor plans
floor plans


Multi-faceted public spaces in the building encourage a range of learning opportunities and social interaction. An extra-wide stair in the lobby doubles as classroom seating and an impromptu stage for performance. A large community room on the second floor serves as classroom, exercise room and meeting space. Daycare classrooms on the ground floor are oriented around and have direct access to a sunlit outdoor play area. Working with budget constraints led to a design that expresses its materiality in a direct way. Concrete is layered in bands with color variation to reveal its liquid nature.

Cite: "SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center / Studio Gang Architects" 13 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • One

    Random, your critic is very random… this building is NOT sensatyional masterpiece nor great achievement but this is a daily wondereful…

  • Lucas Gray

    I kind of like it. Its not amazing but it offers a new take on the concrete wall which is admirable.

  • StructureHub Blog

    Visionary? Maybe not. But they alright, certainly in light of the budgets that most community centers have for these things. I am more appreciative of their use of an elongated triangular lot. It seems folks always need reminding that “constraining” lot dimensions tend to provoke creativity and are not obstacles to good design. Ironically, I am surprised how little of the center’s design seemed influence by the outward dimensions of the lot.

  • jw

    the interior is kind of airy and light… i love what they have done with the layering of the various concrete materials- and having those layers reflect on the interior walls is even better. this seems like a space where children can run and laugh freely. it’s attractive.

  • architecture guy

    what is this, the zebra building?

  • DzetaB

    it would be nice to share more info about how they use the materials. Very nice building

  • Buzz Leffelman

    I saw a lecture by her and know the story behind the concrete, pretty fun. It is leftover concrete from for-profit development in Chicago’s loop. That is why there is not a uniform color. She asked the contractor to pour in a random fashion but they refused and asked her to come up with a seemingly random pour pattern and this is the result. Pretty resourceful and a great solution for such a tight budget and non-profit client.

  • Md.Abdul Salam

    this is a good palanning