Launch Slideshow

Home to a Thousand Souls

Home to a Thousand Souls

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    Timothy Hursley

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    SITE PLAN

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    The mission's programming makes it far more than just a homeless shelter. Residents staying for a month or longer can become involved in such activities as composting in the greenhouse, where they learn community and job skills.

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    The mission's programming makes it far more than just a homeless shelter. Residents have access to a clothing distribution center on the basement level to get clean clothes for daily living as well as for job interviews.

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    The mission's programming makes it far more than just a homeless shelter. Residents and overnight guests alike have access to an in-house beauty shop and barber salon to get haircuts and help with personal grooming.

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    The mission's programming makes it far more than just a homeless shelter. Residents can make use of the mission's two gyms to get exercise and stay healthy in a safe and controlled environment.

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    The Yellow Brick Road is the central artery of the mission, connecting living, work, eating, and meditation spaces. The corridor is wide enough to allow socializing and impromptu gatherings, as well as to set up tables from which to distribute informational flyers on subjects ranging from getting a job to healthy living.

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    A mother and child sit on a bunk in the women and children's shelter, which is open to both program residents and overnight guests. Many families are coming to stay at the mission, because though men and women sleep in different dorms, a whole family can eat together at mealtimes and interact in public spaces, whereas many shelters have completely different facilities for the two sexes.

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    Residents can gather in several public spaces to listen to a presentation in the mission's main meeting space (far bottom left) or in the main cafeteria (bottom middle), which can seat 600 and serves 1,800 meals three times a day. Quiet reflection is allowed in the chapel (bottom, near left), which is also used for regular religious services.

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    Residents can gather in several public spaces to listen to a presentation in the mission's main meeting space (far bottom left) or in the main cafeteria (bottom middle), which can seat 600 and serves 1,800 meals three times a day. Quiet reflection is allowed in the chapel (bottom, near left), which is also used for regular religious services.

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    Residents can gather in several public spaces to listen to a presentation in the mission's main meeting space (far bottom left) or in the main cafeteria (bottom middle), which can seat 600 and serves 1,800 meals three times a day. Quiet reflection is allowed in the chapel (bottom, near left), which is also used for regular religious services.

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    Roof

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    Third Floor

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    Second Floor

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    First Floor

Although the mission earned the proceeds from the sale of two older buildings, the new shelter nevertheless had to be inexpensive, says Tigerman. Ducts, conduit, and fire protection systems are exposed. "So it is a gritty look it's about the grit of a city like Chicago." To further reduce costs, Tigerman used an inherently economical construction system: a reinforced concrete frame with a 20-foot structural bay, eight-inch floor slabs, and nominal 2-foot-square columns. By using brick and glass as infill, exposing the concrete frame, he minimized the perimeter surface area.

Sustainable features of the project include a green roof to manage stormwater and to mediate heat gain and heat loss. Unplanted areas of the roof are covered in highly reflective paving. And domestic water for the residents is heated by an array of 100 solar panels that the city donated to the project.

Two greenhouses will be used to generate organic soil and grow consumable goods. This feature also complements the mission's spiritual orientation. "Any time you can plant something, tend it, and wait for it to grow, it is very helpful in the sense of building hope. And many of our guests have lost that hope for tomorrow," Fuller explains.

Because of its commitment to sustainability, the building not only serves the homeless population, but it contributes to the collective good as well. Chicago has firmly established its position as a leader in promoting sustainable building practices. And Mayor Richard M. Daley is a key player in that effort by having ushered in policies that produced more than 3 million square feet of green roofs in three years.

At Pacific Garden Mission, however, the emphasis remains on helping the individual. For 131 years, mission leaders have sought guidance and inspiration in their devotion to God, choosing to stake their claim in the worst parts of town and persevering through difficult circumstances to minister in word and deed. In the rough and tumble Chicago of the 1870s, it was a calling worth answering. And in the modern city where the homeless continue to congregate, it still is.


PROJECT AND CLIENT Pacific Garden Mission, Chicago
ARCHITECT Tigerman McCurry Architects, Chicago-Stanley Tigerman, Melany Telleen, Nancy Atsumi, Tracy Geraldez, Shawn McKeever, Laura Skelton, Edward Holmes, Harold Divito, Katie Hart, Erin Gould (project team)
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Peter Lindsay Schaudt, Chicago
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER The Structural Shop, Schiller Park, Ill.
M/E/P ENGINEER Lehman Design Consultants, Chicago
CIVIL ENGINEER Daniel Creaney Company, Northbrook, Ill.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR Walsh Construction
LIGHTING CONSULTANT Schuler Shook, Chicago
ROOFING CONSULTANT Building Technology Associates, Homewood, Ill.
FOOD SERVICE CONSULTANT Trimark Marlinn, Chicago
LEED CONSULTANT J.T. Katrakis & Associates, Barrington, Ill.
COMPLETION DATE October 2007
SIZE 156,000 square feet