Affordable housing, beautiful aesthetics, and sustainability are three things that rarely unite under one building, but in Chicago, architects have managed to bring all three together in harmony.
Created by John Ronan Architects, the colorful building contains a public library at ground level and low-cost senior housing up above. The library has dark grey concrete panels and large stretches of low-emissivity, charcoal-toned glass. In contrast, the upper part has rounded corners and exterior with different-sized windows and balconies painted a rainbow of colors, from tangerine to turquoise.
The building has a number of sustainable design elements, including stormwater management, energy-efficient lighting, passive ventilation, and several green roofs. For urban designers, this colorful Chicago building proves that you don’t need to sacrifice beauty when designing public buildings and affordable housing.