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Workforce Housing comes to the West Loop: Lake Street Studios Opens

June 26, 2015

Harley Ellis Devereaux designed the recently completed Lake Street Studios for Interfaith Housing Development Corporation. This nine-and-a-half-story development brings 61 micro-units to the Greek Town/Fulton Market restaurant district of downtown Chicago and provides transit-oriented, affordable and workforce housing. Constructed on a narrow thirty-foot-wide site, the resulting program placed rooms in a single-loaded corridor and displays unobstructed views of downtown in all units.

“I enjoy working within a tight set of parameters and with programs that speak to the issues of our times,” said Susan King, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal with Harley Ellis Devereaux. “Lake Street Studios does that on several levels. Each design decision we made was driven by the site, our client’s budget and the building’s context. With only five parking spaces, its program is reflective of today’s trends toward car-free living.”

The design also responds contextually to mass transit, the Chicago River, pedestrian and automotive traffic along the I-90/94 “expressway wall”. The facades are a juxtaposition of movement and stillness. This balancing act is reflected in blues and whites referencing the sky, river and nearby high rises. Similarly, copper accents represent the red and orange masonry of lower surrounding buildings. Not only does the exterior provide a burst of color along the adjacent transit corridors, it is also an identity for the residents, an artistic expression of their home.

“All of our developments are challenging, this one was particularly so due to the economies of scale and the size and location of the site. Susan and her team created a beautiful building that we can all be proud of,” said Gladys Jordan, President, Interfaith Housing Development Corporation.

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