Posted on March 14th, 2023 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Competitions

NADAAA is participating in the Chicago Come Home: Missing Middle Infill Housing Competition, organized by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Center. The intention of the competition is to build much-needed new housing stock in Chicago’s South and West Sides. An exhibition of the 42 submitted projects that range from single-family houses to six-unit buildings are now exhibited at the CAC and will be on view until March 26. Public feedback is welcomed both in person at the exhibition and online.


URBANISM: The doubling of plots sets up an opportunity to transform what would conventionally be two row-houses into multiple dwellings that creates a community within a single structure. HELIX2 achieves this by creating an inner court that is shared by all units, while each unit also gets its own separate terrace.

A TYPE TRANSFORMED: The proposed circulation of two traditional row-houses is merged into a double-helical staircase that accesses all units, one interior and another exterior, as the second means of egress. The row-houses are rotated perpendicular to the street, separated to form a court, with an exterior stair providing terraces for social interaction.

UNIT ‘TETRIS’ LOGIC: Most units are organized on two levels in a sectional L-configuration, creating a public/private level, or allowing a separate suite on another floor for the independence of an in-law/parental suite. While the units stack in a bespoke organization, all plumbing is stacked vertically to allow for flexible planning around units, should transformations be needed.

TECHNOLOGIES: While economy suggests wood-stud framing is the most economical for a single building, if multiple structures were considered on varied sites, mass timber, and modular systems allow for pre-fabrication and enhanced sustainable solutions. Veneer wood resin composite or fiber cement panels make for a flexible cladding rain screen envelope.

THE REAL ESTATE PROFORMA: An apples-to-apples comparison between a conventional double row-house and this proposal establishes a net-to-gross difference of 9500/900sqft of circulation for the row-house and 9500/840sqft for HELIX2, with the added advantage of a courtyard and multiple terraces.

Read more about the competition and initiative to build in Chicago’s South and West Sides via the Chicago Sun Times, Dwell, and Austin Weekly.



No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.