Jahn's Low Budget "Twinkies" Will Rise From Cabrini Rubble

September 15, 2004 · by DesignIntelligence

Known for glittering urban structures such as airport terminals, Helmut Jahn recently undertook a much lower-budget project: a room of their own for Chicago’s homeless.

The recent renaissance at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s campus has resulted in a greater appreciation of architect Helmut Jahn’s work. A former IIT grad student and professor, Jahn is known for glittering urban structures such as airport terminals, white-collar towers and the buildings of his alma mater. But he recently undertook a much lower-budget project: a room of their own for Chicago’s homeless.

Described by one writer as a “silver, Twinkie-shaped structure,” the steel-and-glass “single-room occupancy” of the Near North Apartments will consist of 100 units built on the grounds of the former Cabrini-Green housing project, chronicled as a wasteland in books including There are no Children Here.

Social services and counseling will be offered on-site, but unlike most shelters, each person will have his or her own room.

“We didn’t really start out to make something unique,” Jahn said. “We made a very efficient room.”

The design borrows heavily from plans Jahn drafted for dorms a few miles away—at the Illinois Institute of Technology, his alma mater.

The energy-saving design includes rooftop wind turbines and solar paneling and a system to recycle collected rainwater to flush toilets.

Post Comment

The Design Futures Council

Jul 30, 2015 · by DesignIntelligence

The Design Futures Council is a global network of design community professionals. The mission: to explore trends, changes, and new opportunities in design, architecture, engineering, and building... Read full »

DesignIntelligence Panel: Michael Fletcher & Scott Jenkins

Jul 29, 2015 · by DesignIntelligence

What happens when the world’s largest chemical company sits down at the table with the design and construction team on one of the largest and arguably most iconic projects of 2015, the new Atlanta... Read full »

Survey Preview: Expanding Definitions of Sustainability

Jul 15, 2015 · by DesignIntelligence

Once upon a time, sustainability was defined solely by our impact on the Earth's environment. Today, our understanding of sustainability has broadened and deepened to match the breadth and... Read full »

Eternally Successful Firm Governance

Jul 15, 2015 · by James P. Cramer

The importance of firm governance and how it can be improved Read full »

The Owners Dilemma

How Firms Succeed 5.0

DI.net RSS Feeds

DI.net on Twitter

Research Support