Infill Housing on Five Sites in East Pilsen is work from a studio/seminar hybrid course at The University of Chicago based in Chicago’s common residential buildings. Students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds sought to bring new ideas to such buildings’ development through collective work in East Pilsen. Different groups worked differently, as the sites demanded, so the resulting buildings reveal different layers of focus, both social and spatial, within the roughly three-lot wide sites. At a moment of large-scale development (e.g. “The 78”) and streamlined digital design, these projects seek to inject personal and contextual thought at a human scale, without resting on obvious adjacencies.
The variety of backgrounds of the students involved — they are not architecture students, in a traditional studio program, and this is the first experience most have had with projects of this sort — becomes a positive, as it manifests in the variety and empathy of the work produced. The group is especially eager to show these projects here, at the edge of East Pilsen, just blocks from the sites the students chose, and extremely grateful to the Chicago Art Department for the opportunity to do so.