- JGMA and the SOS Children's Villages Illinois’s Roosevelt Square Community Center
The new Roosevelt Square Community Center was built based on the design created by the JGMA studio founded by architect Juan Moreno, who has always believed that architecture has an innate ability to transform people and places. The building made in cross laminated timber (CLT) stands on the prominent corner site along Blue Island Avenue, thus becoming a visual landmark for the local community. With an area of more than 1,021 square metres, it will serve as an urban prototype for offering services to people in need.
Within the centre, in addition to offices and academic, therapeutic, social and recreational support programmes, multipurpose spaces have also been created for community members who find a safe space here. Not only for training activities and events, but also for family reunions and parties, thus offering all the necessary features to become a genuine social hub for the local community. Among the various activities, a signature culinary kitchen, Goya, is worth highlighting, which provides food and nutrition education, as well as professional training for the hospitality sector.
For JGMA, the project becomes a physical manifestation of the forward-looking nature of the SOS Children's Villages organisation, thus seeking to limit the environmental impact of the new structure, starting from a sustainable construction material such as wood. Solar panels on the roof generate electricity and lower electricity costs as well as CO2 emissions. The dialogue with the urban context and its users also plays an important role. Between the large square and the community gardens located in front of the building, the large windows and the blue colour of the association, a dialogue is created with the people who can comfortably reach the Roosevelt Square Community Center thanks to the excellent public transport connections that serve the area.
The landscaping elements, in other words the square and gardens, help define a clear flow and circulation on site, while inviting the use of open space.
Ultimately, this new centre facilitates and encourages community interaction, while providing safe and comfortable facilities for children, families and staff. All with a very small environmental footprint, for the benefit of future generations.
Location: Chicago, USA
Images: Tom Rossiter