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The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Second Place

Found adjacent to Chicago’s broad boulevards or nestled in between city streets, a park is the prized centerpiece of a city neighborhood, serving a community as a meeting place, recreation space and urban oasis.

Even in times of restricted budgets, the Chicago Park District seeks to accommodate future generations, modernizing parks even as their traditional purposes remain the same. Booth Hansen, well known for its emphasis on environmental stewardship, was commissioned to create the fieldhouse of the future. The Public Building Commission praised the projects’ use of sustainable design and their ability to unite communities.

Booth Hansen’s challenge in designing these buildings, at Taylor-Lauridsen and Jesse Owens parks, was to create an iconic community focal point that blends with the neighborhood. With dramatic, curved roof lines, the buildings evoke a feeling of flight. The high-level windows flood the interiors with warmth and light, while also making their exteriors blend into the sky behind them.

Each building includes a gymnasium, fitness center, clubroom and support spaces. The prototypes’ design took into feedback from the community into account, and their flexible design allows for the future addition of an indoor pool. The prototypes are LEED certified, conform to the city’s green requirements and decrease costs by using insulated concrete panels to absorb sunlight, heating the building during the
day and slowly releasing warmth at night. Many of the materials used to build the fieldhouses were recycled.

For succeeding in setting the standard for the fieldhouse of the future, a thoroughly green building that can accommodate many uses, adapt to many sites and age gracefully within many settings, Booth Hansen is the 2011 recipient of Second Place in the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural
Excellence in Community Design.