SOS Children's Villages Lavezzorio Community Center

Chicago, IL

Completed 2008

SOS Children’s Villages Illinois


16,000 sf


As the central hub of SOS Children’s Village Chicago, the Lavezzorio Community Center combines social services and neighborhood amenities under one roof, serving children and families in the city’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.

Inside the building, multi-faceted, naturally lit public spaces encourage a range of learning opportunities and social interaction. Daycare classrooms are organized around a south-facing courtyard on the ground floor, with caseworkers’ offices, counseling areas, and a large, multi-purpose community room on the second floor.

Connecting the levels, a large structural stair serves as a mountain-like landscape for playing, climbing, performing, and hanging out, with a lobby at the top of the stair doubling as a computer lab.

The Community Center serves a growing neighborhood of foster-care families, women, and children in a mix of affordable single family homes and apartment units.


First Place, Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, 2009

High Commendation, Civic Category, World Architecture Festival, 2008

Citation of Merit, Distinguished Building Award, Design Excellence Awards, AIA Chicago 2008

Citation of Merit, Divine Detail Award, Design Excellence Awards, AIA Chicago, 2008

Best Building Award, Building Congress of Chicago, 2008


Thornton Tomasetti, structural engineer

CCJM Engineers, Ltd., MEP-FP

Site Design Group, Ltd., landscape design

CharterSills, lighting

Bovis Lend Lease, general contractor