JGMA recently completed a new community center in Chicago for the Children's Villages Non-Profit Organization that serves foster children in the Roosevelt Square Village and the surrounding community. The center is also equipped with academic, therapeutic, social & recreational services and activities.
The design for the new SOS Children's Villages Illinois and Maestro Cares Community Center exemplifies a unification of SOS's child-fostering mission with the surrounding family 'villages' of the Roosevelt Square community. The prominent corner site along the active Blue Island Avenue, just south and west of Chicago's downtown area, will welcome engagement with adjacent residential neighborhoods while presenting a positive and compelling outward image to the public.
JGMA's design is a physical manifestation of the forward-thinking nature of the SOS Children's Villages organization. Inside the building, a dialogue is fostered between private programming: administrative and counseling offices; and more open, collective and communal programs: group study areas, a community event space and an educational kitchen. JGMA located the community gathering and dining space and a roof terrace on the second floor, celebrating views to downtown Chicago to inspire children, families and all who pass through.
SOS is a pioneer as the first public building in Chicago to fully utilize, and gained permit to use, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). As a renewable and reusable material, it can be recovered at the end of the building life and reused in other buildings. The Buildings structure is a combination of Glulam Beams and CLT Decking Panels, and the columns and beams are built in Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) to replace steel and minimize CO2 emissions. Solar panels located on the roof generate direct electricity to the center, reducing electricity costs and CO2 emissions. Energy-efficient appliances and fixtures also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Photography: Tom Rossiter