SOS Children’s Villages Illinois / JGMA
20,000 sq. Ft.
Photographs: Tom rossiter
Text description provided by the architects. 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. 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.
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 areas, 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.
Illinois Children’s Villages will be well served by public transportation (CTA 60 bus stations and Blue and Pink rapid transit lines), car, bicycle and pedestrian access. Through these multiple modes of access to the new location, SOS Children’s Villages will participate and increase the dynamism of the existing district. The building’s processional approaches through a public plaza and community gardens also contribute to a sense of arrival, while establishing a positive street presence, clear site circulation, and a community-driven outdoor gathering.
Ultimately, this new center facilitates and encourages community interaction, while providing safe and comfortable facilities for children, families and staff.