Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture
Street Render West Final Base.jpg

PULSE Woodlawn


Woodlawn, Chicago, IL - Fall 2018
Created for the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) 2018 Student Design Competition. Presented at the NOMAS Conference in October 2018.
In collaboration with Victoria Yong, Chase Kea, Tanvi Harkare, Alyssa Mayorga, Jordan Takumi Davis, Gisselt Gomez, and Taylor Latimer.


Extended site map, including client and context analysis.


Project Description (by Victoria Yong)

PULSE draws on Chicago’s rich history of food and culture to establish a carbon neutral, transit oriented development at Woodlawn’s gateway.  The proposal weaves together the “pulses” of Opportunity, Mobility, and Integration to revive 63rd Street, a major commercial artery that runs through the heart of Woodlawn.

The 63rd Street Market Hall at the corner of Dorchester and 63rd Street leverages the momentum of Chicago’s urban agriculture movement to create an incubator for the community. The ground floor features the Woodlawn Galley, a series of rotating restaurant-style stalls featuring food created by Woodlawn’s diverse residents. The upper floor provides education and workforce training for the next generation of workers in the food and agriculture industries through an apprenticeship program. Vacant land along 63rd Street will be phased into urban farms, providing fresh produce to the neighborhood. These urban farms will employ at-risk youth who can complete an apprenticeship at the market hall. New jobs in the emerging urban agriculture industry will generate a “pulse” of opportunity throughout the neighborhood.

The 63rd Street Metra Station is redefined as a multimodal transportation station. New canopies over the train platforms shelter Metra riders from inclement weather and provide solar-powered warming stations for the colder months. In order to support biking as alternative transportation, Divvy bike sharing stations, sheltered bike storage, and bike shower facilities are located adjacent to the station. LED’s light up the public art space under the Metra tracks at night, providing a safe and uniquely engaging experience for pedestrians. Protected bike lanes and improved pedestrian crossings along 63rd Street promote carbon-neutral transportation and reinforce healthy lifestyles for residents of all ages. New covered bus stations along 63rd Street offer connections from rail to bus and promote public transit. The “pulse” of mobility connects the neighborhood through multimodal transit.

The Hansberry Center echoes the Obama Presidential Center’s mission to celebrate African-American history by honoring Woodlawn-born civil rights activist Lorraine Hansberry. The center features a multi-use stage that can function as a black box theater, community meeting room, and a gallery space. The multi-use stage opens into Hansberry Plaza, a mix of hardscaped and landscaped zones intertwined with public art that celebrates diversity and inclusion. The plaza is surrounded by locally owned retail stores, establishing Woodlawn’s gateway as the epicenter of art and culture.

The Jackson View Apartments, located above the Hansberry Center, symbolizes the path towards a healthy new future for Woodlawn. The Net Zero apartments boast rainwater harvesting, passive daylighting, and renewable energy collection. These sustainable features make the units carbon-neutral and comfortable. In addition, 20% of all rentals and for-sale apartments are affordable for low-income families, ensuring that Woodlawn retains its most important asset: its residents. The “pulse” of integration reinforces Woodlawn as an inclusive and diverse neighborhood.

The success of Woodlawn’s future depends on the health of its major commercial artery, 63rd Street. Together, the “pulses” of Opportunity, Mobility, and Integration will revive, strengthen, and sustain 63rd Street as the heart of Woodlawn.