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.


    Thank you! We look forward to working on our project with you. We have worked for the past 5-years as a grass roots community group to get to this point. We have full faith and confidence that your team can help use bring it to fruition. -Ann Alspaugh, President, PullmanArts.

    In reality art and architecture are inseparable.
    Do Ho Suh

    As a board member of PullmanArts, I am honored to be working with your creative design team.
    I love big projects and I’m very happy to be a small, but enthusiastic, part of this one.
    I’m looking forward to meeting all of you.
    Mary Ferazza

    The design is much more in keeping with the historical nature of the neighborhood than I had imagined. I find it to be a significant addition to the vibrant future envisioned for the future of the Pullman National Monument. As an active and involved member of the community, I am very pleased with the efforts of all of the parties and their dedication to the common interest of the community of Pullman.

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