A New Answer for Chicago's Affordable Housing Shortage
2019-07-10 | Chicago Tribune
One answer emerged Wednesday night when an unknown
The contest, called "Disruptive Design," aims to duplicate the success of the sturdy bungalows that proliferated on the city's fringes in the early decades of the 20th century, providing homes for thousands of middle- and working-class families.
And it will produce results, although they'll be limited at first.
Developer Related Midwest, whose credits include the high-end
The winning design by
It could be a two-flat where the owner lives downstairs and rents out the upstairs, a single-family house with its own work space, or a wheelchair-accessible home suited to an elderly couple.
"The idea was to disrupt the trend of the housing market right now in new construction," said
"We wanted to provide a new product which would show working families that your house could work for you -- producing income, flexible live-work space, beautiful new construction, and it could also be within your budget," Brune said.
The competition, which drew 133 entries, comes at a time when housing advocates and Mayor
In April, a report from DePaul University's
On the North and Northwest Sides, high-income households and developers are tearing down two- to four-unit buildings to construct million-dollar, single-family homes or large luxury apartment buildings.
Tamborino, one of three finalists in the competition, will receive
In crafting his design, Tamborino drew on his experience as the son of a retired
He also benefited from his work at Perkins+Will, where he's seen how architects need to come up with clever ways to maintain the integrity of their designs in the face of cost-cutting pressure.
His winning design, he predicted, "could still hit all the checked boxes" if Related Midwest needs to economize.
To hold down costs, the two-flat would be built on a concrete slab, eliminating a basement, and its first floor would be made of uncovered polished concrete. The house would be clad in "humble but long-lasting materials," Tamborino said, like corrugated metal and stucco.
Mechanical systems would be placed in the center of the floors, shortening the lengths of heating and cooling ducts, and opening the perimeter to natural light.
Also saving on costs, the
"This is a unique opportunity we have compared to
But the key is the flexibility of the two-flat's floor plan.
A young couple in need of extra income might live on one floor and rent out the other. Once they had children, they might convert the house to a single-family home. Later on in life, they would be able to remain in the house because its doors are designed for wheelchair accessibility. A walk-in closet on the first floor could be replaced with a residential-grade elevator.
"I tried to address every scenario I could think of," Tamborino said.
The other finalists were
Jurors for the contest included
The goal, Brune said, is to build the two examples of the winning design next year.
(c)2019 the Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.