Past winners

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

The bright atrium of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago’s new headquarters embodies the group’s  mission and philosophy of integration, access, openness and integrity. Designed to support and advance  people of all levels of ability, the building’s many innovative design strategies make it the paragon of  universal design as well as sustainable design within Chicago.

While the exterior of the building is sensitive to its surrounding neighborhood in terms of scale, materials and massing, the most inspiring innovations are on the interior. With myriad features that make the spaces and their functions visible, audible, chemically neutral and easy to navigate for people of all statures and levels of mobility, the building follows the principles of universal design by allowing easy accessibility for all users.

From large elevators with plenty of room for multiple wheelchairs to smooth floors and lighting helpful to those with limited vision, the design details make the building easy and intuitive to use, regardless of an individual’s ability. A high priority was set on sustainable materials and environmentally sound paint, adhesives, solvents and carpet that eliminate air contaminants. A green roof tops the building while natural and efficient lighting set by automated controls from daylight sensors allows the building to reduce energy consumption by at least 25 percent. Its Gold LEED rating is only a part of its total attainment of design excellence.

For unsurpassed attention to the needs of the building’s users and creativity inmaking the building environmentally friendly and equally accessible to all, the Access Living Headquarters and LCM Architects are awarded this year’s Second Place Richard H.Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design.