VOA wins design competition for Pullman Artspace

VOA will design new creative live/work space for artists in historic Chicago district

VOA is pleased to announce we have won a design competition for Pullman Artspace, an affordable artist-oriented live-work development in the Pullman Historic District of ChicagoThe Richard H. Driehaus Foundation awarded funding to Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Inc. (CNI), to oversee an open design competition to engage the best and brightest Chicago architects to plan and design a creative space for artists to live, work, gather and share ideas. Pullman Artspace is being developed in partnership with PullmanArts, a group of neighborhood artists committed to the revitalization of Pullman; and Artspace Inc., the nation’s leading non-profit developer of mixed-use artist housing.

The project represents an opportunity to integrate historic preservation with new construction by providing 35-40 new, affordable, live/work units and creating an iconic group of buildings that anchor Pullman’s eastern boundary. Pullman was the company town for the Pullman Palace Car Company.  Ninety percent of the community and factory works remain standing todayPresident Obama recently designated Pullman as a unit of the National Park System, making it a National Monument as well as a Chicago Landmark district.

The site is approximately 18,500 square feet of vacant land book-ended by two historic apartment buildings on Langley Avenue, just south of 111th Street. The program called for a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom dwelling units plus shared gallery, studio and meeting facilities, to be located in the two restored vintage residential buildings joined by a new building. Respect for Pullman’s architectural heritage in the design of the new building was emphasized by the sponsor. The solution includes open loft-like plans and duplex apartments with two-story live-work spaces.

Originally open to all Chicago architects, sponsor Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives selected VOA from a field of twenty firms which applied. Ten semifinalists were invited to submit ideas and interview in April, when the field was narrowed to three firms. VOA and the other two firms were given a stipend to develop their concept further and interview again on July 29.  The VOA design team includes Bill Ketcham, Steve Siegle, Joe Dietz, Michael Day and Marie Kruse.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.


    Congratulations on winning the competition and I am looking forward to seeing the plans you have for the area. In you summary above you indicate that respect for Pullman’s architectural heritage in the design was emphasized. I am happy to hear that the new building will be something that looks like it belongs and not some modern building that was added later. Look forward to hearing more.

    Congratulations on winning the competition all the local artist are happy and excited to support Pullman Artsspace. Thank you!


    I wanted to make sure VOA had heard about The Architect’s Newspaper 3rd Annual Best of Design Awards (http://awards.archpaper.com). It’s a unique opportunity to showcase your buildings, building elements, interiors, landscapes and other architectural-based categories that are not covered by other competitions.  

    This year, The Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Awards has expanded to include 18 categories.
     Here are just a few of the new additions to this year’s competition:
    Building(s) of the Year
    Since The Architect’s Newspaper publishes four regional editions—East, West, Midwest, and Southwest, we’re seeking the best new building in each of these regions.
    Architectural Models
    Whichever form is your favorite—virtual or analog, interior or exterior, landscaping or urban— show the world how you build, just at a smaller scale. Your model does not need to have come to fruition. All scaled architecture types are eligible.

    Temporary Installation
    Whether your installation is a site-specific exhibition or it created an entirely new site, enter your work that showcases materials, techniques and invention.
    Competition entrants will be judged by a stellar jury that includes Craig Edward Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta; Julio Braga, principal of IA Interior Architects; and Amale Andraos, co-founder of WORKac and dean of Columbia University GSAPP. 

    The submission deadline is November 2nd. For more information about the competition, including past years’ winners, see the Best of Design Awards site.

    And please be in touch with any questions!

    Randi Greenberg
    The Architect’s Newspaper

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