1200 N. Clybourn Ave. Chicago, Illinois Google map
The architectural vision for this seven-story structure respects both the immediate traditional context, and the minimalist, industrial character of the Lakefront Mercy SRO. The design establishes a sense of overall aesthetic cohesion in the neighborhood and offers a refreshing iconic marker for this key intersection. The plan holds the street edge of both Clybourn Ave. and Division St., yet offers a setback to effectively widen the narrow sidewalks, leading to a generous usable plaza and gesturing figuratively to the park south of the intersection. The base of the building is glassy and open with contrasting colored precast concrete panel ribbons that define combined volumes of interior space. The body of the residential floors appears to be lifted off the base and is defined by conceptual book covers that hold both street walls. The facades feature a staggered pattern of alternating sized precast panels which appear layered with contrasting textures creating a sense of dynamic movement and activity. Window units include a colored accent panel that plays up asymmetry, alternating orientation from floor to floor. The primary street walls accentuate the acute angle of the site and the conceptual spine of the book contrasts to glazed end walls. These two volumes are gapped by a ‘slot’ anchored by a glass feature and canopy, emphasizing the central axis of the plan and serving as a backdrop to the articulated corner plaza.