Affordable, sustainable housing development along a commercial stretch of West Humboldt Park
3831 West Chicago Avenue will be the largest example of Passive House Sustainability in Chicago, consisting of not only housing, but a ground-floor grocery store, bakery, and café. The project site is targeted for improvement under Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Invest South/West community improvement initiative for the re-activation of one of the key commercial corridors on Chicago’s West Side. It will encourage investment in adjacent blocks by offering a vibrant development where Humboldt Park residents can live, shop and socialize.
The project’s design concept is centered around community and cultural wealth-building. The plan and massing feature a partially covered outdoor plaza that links to community and café spaces within the building, as well as a flexible community outdoor area to the south. Together, these spaces offer indoor-outdoor opportunities for gathering, discussion, celebration, and other cultural activities for the neighborhood.
The architectural character is derived from a monolithic form carved to offer a series of outdoor moments for its residents. Stepped terraces highlight the center of the Chicago Avenue façade. To the west, the building overhangs the plaza, offering protected space and highly visible surfaces ideal for displaying community art. The result is a transformative project that acknowledges Humboldt Park’s cultural and artistic heritage yet establishes its own identity and defined sense of place.