JGMA recently completed a new community center in Chicago for the nonprofit Children’s Villages which serves foster children in the Roosevelt Square Village and the surrounding community. The center is also endowed with academic, therapeutic, social and recreational services and activities.
The design of the new SOS Illinois Children’s Villages and Maestro Cares community center illustrates the unification of SOS’s child care mission with the surrounding family “villages” of the Roosevelt Square community. The prominent corner site along active Blue Island Avenue, just south and west of downtown Chicago, will welcome engagement with adjacent residential neighborhoods while presenting a positive and compelling exterior image to the public.
The design of JGMA is a physical manifestation of the avant-garde nature of the SOS Children’s Villages organization. Inside the building, dialogue is encouraged between private programming: administrative and advisory offices; and more open, collective and community programs: group study spaces, a community event space and an educational kitchen. JGMA has located the community meeting and dining space and a rooftop terrace on the second floor, celebrating the views of downtown Chicago to inspire kids, families and all who pass by.
SOS is pioneering as the first public building in Chicago to fully utilize and obtain a cross-laminated timber (CLT) license. As a renewable and reusable material, it can be recovered at the end of the building’s life and reused in other buildings. The building structure is a combination of glulam beams and CLT deck panels, and columns and beams are constructed from glulam (glulam) to replace steel and minimize CO2 emissions . Solar panels on the roof generate electricity directly to the center, reducing electricity costs and CO2 emissions. Energy-efficient appliances and accessories also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Photography: Tom rossiter