Studio Gang and The Community Builders Win C40 Cities Chicago Loop Competition

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced The Community Builders and Studio Gang as the winners of the City of Chicago’s C40 Reinventing Cities, a competition initiated by the C40 to implement the best ideas to transform underutilized sites or buildings into beacons of sustainability and resilience and act as a showcase for future zero-carbon urban developments. The team’s design and development proposal, ‘Assemble Chicago,’ is a carbon-neutral, affordable high-rise that will create a “stunning transformation” of underutilized land at Van Buren Street and Plymouth Court in Chicago’s Loop.

Sited in the heart of downtown, the 20-story, mixed-use building will connect to a revitalized Pritzker Park on State Street and overlook the Harold Washington Library Center, the main branch of the Chicago Public Library system. The building is composed of a highly public multilevel ‘NeighborHub’ base, a renewed Pritzker Park, and a residential tower. The NeighborHub will host ecological, community development, and cultural programming for Chicago’s community-based nonprofits and a food hall to highlight minority-owned, local businesses. It will also bring a produce grocer and a medical clinic to the heart of downtown, opening directly onto a reinvigorated Pritzker Park to transform the whole site into a vibrant indoor-outdoor civic hub.

Rising above this, 207 efficient and healthy living spaces will house Downtown’s moderate- and lower-income workforce earning 30 to 80 percent of the Chicago area median income (AMI), equivalent a salary range of $19,000 and $73,000. Each apartment features a contemporary version of Chicago’s classic bay window to draw in ample natural daylight and fresh air. Stacked over the height of the tower, the bays create a rhythmic, vertically articulated façade that resonates with the architectural character of the Loop’s historic buildings while introducing contemporary materials and technologies that dramatically increase the building’s environmental performance.

Read the City's press release

"This project is emblematic of the deeply positive impacts that community-driven neighborhood development can have on our entire city. Not only will 'Assemble Chicago' help to address our city's need for more sustainable and affordable housing units, but it will also help to reinvigorate the surrounding Pritzker Park through infrastructure improvements."

— Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

“Evolving Chicago's architectural traditions with 21st-century building technologies to address the urgent crises of housing inequality and climate change, our design establishes Studio Gang’s first fully affordable residential community within C40’s ambitious, carbon-neutral framework in the heart of downtown. With a vibrant base that connects to a rejuvenated Pritzker Park and an elegant exterior that harmonizes with Downtown's historical context, Assemble Chicago will create a new civic hub for all Chicagoans and provide a model for sustainable development for cities worldwide."

Jeanne Gang

Aesthetica Studio

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"We want to live in a world where people actively support one another as part of a greater, thriving network of living things. This calls on us as architects to design projects that create meaningful connections between individuals, their communities, and their environment," writes Jeanne Gang in an interview by C40, an international network of cities committed to addressing climate change.

Studio Gang, in partnership with The Community Builders, is currently a finalist in the Reinventing Cities competition to redevelop a site in Chicago's Loop.