Studio Gang and The Community Builders have won the City of Chicago’s C40 Reinventing Cities, a competition that seeks to “transform underutilized sites or buildings into beacons of sustainability and resilience and act as a showcase for future zero-carbon urban developments”. The winning proposal will create 207 residences for the downtown workforce earning as little as minimum wage, revitalize Pritzker Park, and add community spaces and amenities to the Chicago Loop.
Initiated by the C40, a global network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, the competition selected the “Assemble Chicago” project as the winning proposal. Developed by Studio Gang, an architecture and urban design practice headquartered in Chicago, and the Community Builders, a leading national nonprofit real estate developer, the entry is a carbon-neutral, affordable high-rise that will create a “stunning transformation” of underutilized land at Van Buren Street and Plymouth Court in Chicago’s Loop.
The Community Builders/Studio Gang team also includes associate architects DesignBridge and JAQ; landscape architect Site Design Group; structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti; MEP engineer dbHMS; civil engineer Engage Civil; ecological systems consultant Applied Ecological Services; and operators Center for Neighborhood Technology, Rush University College of Nursing, and Calibrate Coaching.
Evolving Chicago's architectural traditions with 21st-century building technologies to address the urgent crises of housing inequality and climate change, our design establishes Studio Gang’s first fully affordable residential community within C40’s ambitious, carbon-neutral framework in the heart of downtown. With a vibrant base that connects to a rejuvenated Pritzker Park and an elegant exterior that harmonizes with Downtown's historical context, Assemble Chicago will create a new civic hub for all Chicagoans and provide a model for sustainable development for cities worldwide. -- Studio Gang Founding Partner Jeanne Gang.
Located in the heart of downtown, the project is composed of a ‘NeighborHub’ base, a renewed Pritzker Park, and a residential tower. The NeighborHub will host ecological, community development, and cultural programming for Chicago’s community-based nonprofits and a food hall to highlight minority-owned, local businesses. Moreover, the 20-story, mixed-use building will be connected to a revitalized Pritzker Park on State Street overlooking the Harold Washington Library Center, the main branch of the Chicago Public Library system. In fact, 207 efficient and healthy living spaces will house Downtown’s moderate- and lower-income workforce earning 30 to 80 percent of the Chicago area median income (AMI).
“This project also serves as an important example for cities around the world on how to ensure equitable housing, improvement of public spaces and services, and climate change can be addressed jointly," explains Laura Jay, C40 Regional Director for North America. Driven by C40’s ambitions to cultivate carbon neutral and resilient urban regeneration across the world, Assemble Chicago is targeting LEED Platinum with LEED Zero Energy and Zero Carbon.
The Community Builders (TCB)’s mission is to build and sustain strong communities where all people can thrive. […] Good design improves the lives of the residents and the outcomes of the small businesses in our buildings. Good design improves the communities surrounding our buildings. Our exceptional design team led by Studio Gang delivers an impactful architecture that addresses climate change and inequity while bringing Chicagoans together in a development that will strengthen the Loop”. -- Regional Vice President for Real Estate Development Will Woodley.