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Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence, 1st Place

When children living with HIV/AIDS enter the Children’s Place at Vision House, they are welcomed into a bright and environmentally friendly center that is responsive to both the physical and spiritual needs of the children and their families.

Viewed from the street, Children’s Place has an attractive two-story façade, distinguished by a bell-tower, peaked roofs, and graceful landscaping, all of which reflect the architecture of the surrounding neighborhood. Inside, high-ceilinged classrooms and oversized-arched windows allow for brilliant natural light, while child-level windows provide a view of the colorful playground around which the structure is wrapped. Solar panels on the roof lower operating costs while the use of “green” materials throughout the building provides a safe setting for children with compromised immune systems. Cork, linoleum, recycled rubber, recycled plastic and even sunflower seeds are some of the building materials used in the facility.

Children’s Place is the second phase of a long-term development plan among IHDCC, Liberty Baptist Church, Cook County Hospital’s HIV Primary Care Center and Provident Hospital. Phase I, IHDCC’s Vision House, which is adjacent, provides housing to individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS. With continuing community outreach and the hope of expanding services, IHDCC and its partners are striving mightily to make life better for those touched by HIV/AIDS while adding great beauty to the neighborhood in which the development is located.