Reuse in Four Movements explores four approaches to activate a vacant industrial building in Chicago. Common to all approaches is the desire to provide a space that fosters a balance between individual development and social interaction, with a focus on welcoming underprivileged and/or marginalized sectors of the society.
Movement 1: Checkerboard Courtyards
The building, organized around five courtyards, aims to nurture artists by providing private and collective spaces to produce and share their work. A fellowship program provides one-to-six month studios to the artists-in-residence free of charge. While the first floor provides shared resources and public spaces for artists to interact and engage with the local community, the second floor includes their private studios. Disciplines accepted in the fellowship program are architecture, printmaking, painting, visual arts, writing, and music.
Movement 2: Odd Couple
An oversized object inhabits the original structure, one that alters the character of the industrial building and hosts a series of programs related to work skills and innovation. The interior of each of the wings, with unique dimensions and qualities, accommodates a specific program while the outside space fosters social interaction among small groups. The roof of the object is accessible to those attending the programs, providing a communal but more secluded space with a privileged vantage point.
Movement 3: Malleable Walls
Two thickened walls provide the infrastructure needed to create a flexible space that can accommodate performances, sports activities, and social gatherings. Five sets of retractable grand stands located on both walls reorganize the space in multiple configurations, from a large gathering for a market or car shows, to film screening, dance performances, and table tennis configurations.
Movement 4: Modern Follies
A collection of structures, in some cases inhabitable, is arranged throughout the floor plan to create a new neighborhood library. Conceived as a series of follies in the landscape, their individual aesthetic qualities, defined by their shape and materials, aim to enhance and challenge our preconceived ideas of an otherwise normative program. The follies are arranged in space according to their communal/individual nature.
Author: MAS Studio
Team: Iker Gil & Danrui Xiang
Size: 7,500 square feet