Building upon the urban exploration of vacancy proposed in The Available City project by David Brown, nine Chicago-based teams present their own responses to the issue at stake. Employing drawings and models, each project investigates the architectural possibilities of vacancy, with a specific focus on the role of collective spaces and the relationships they can foster. Diverse in their location, scale, program, and aesthetic sensibility, these projects ultimately demonstrate that we can leverage vacancy to generate new architectural scenarios that have the potential to address current social and economic issues.
On scattered sites throughout Chicago, made available by the city for social activism, are a series of 480 sq. ft. affordable dwelling units composed of three 8′ x 20′ European Pallet shipping containers fabricated in Hamburg, Germany.
Erected on permeable pavers with green roofs and solar panels, each sustainable sky-lit unit is organized in a “U”-shaped configuration to support a disabled person living in one wing with a caregiver in the other wing, both bracketing a central core containing the shared bathroom and kitchen.
The negative of the “U”-shaped plan is a sunlit courtyard that becomes a communal zone when a series of “U”s are placed in a pattern. The dwellings are so positioned as to allow for a handicapped parking space for the caregiver of each disabled inhabitant.
Stanley Tigerman assisted by Jessie LaFree (Tigerman McCurry Architects), Eugenia Macchia, and Verónica Pérez.