Past winners

Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence, 1st Place: Ross Barney + Jankowski, Inc., for Jubilee Family Resource Center

The Carole Robertson Center for Learning has a deep- rooted commitment to its neighborhood’s children. Founded in 1976 by parents who rallied to save their local childcare program when it fell on hard times, the Center was named in memory of the little girl and her three girlfriends who were killed in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama church.

The Center first turned to Ross Barney + Jankowski to build an addition to its facility in Little Village, which earned the architects a 2001 Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design. Now, RB+ J, which shares Robinson’s vision that good architecture strengthens and unites a community, returns as winner of the 2002 award for creating a new center for the residents of North Lawndale. The Jubilee Family Resource Center is a one- story, 21,000- square- foot facility at 3701 W. Ogden Ave.

Like its neighbor in Little Village, Jubilee was planned to be both child-focused and family friendly, providing the community with much- needed year- round child care, as well as adult education, job training and counseling, and a beautiful place for families to come together as a community.

Ross Barney + Jankowski designed the Resource Center so that it offers stimulating indoor and outdoor places for children to learn and socialize in a safe environment. The daycare facility is artfully planned for children by using simple, colorful geometric shapes for walls, ceilings and furnishings. The classrooms are organized around an interior courtyard that allows for protected toddler outdoor play.

Careful attention was focused on the textures and materials of the rooms and hallways to provide safe, durable and low- maintenance surfaces, while enhancing the views to the landscaping and outside play areas. The north and south facades present a woven masonry pattern resembling Kente cloth, a symbol of cultural heritage. Formerly the garb for royalty, Kente cloth is worn today by many who regard it as a symbol of African pride and dignity.

Throughout the design process, as it did previously with the Little Village project, RB+ J conscientiously solicited input and feedback from its community partners, ensuring that the Center would reflect community desires and needs. The result once again is both ideal and idealistic, an optimal space for a community’s learning and growth.