HOK Wins Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Chicago Competition

LBCCC_2014The Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Chicago (LBCCC) has announced the winner of its 2014 School Annex Design Competition. HOK’s Chicago office won first place in the design charette. The Chicago office of Valerio Dewalt Train came in second with student entries coming in with honorable mentions.

LBCCC is a community based group of Living Building Challenge Ambassadors that aims to encourage the development and construction of a fully certified Living Building in Chicago. The Living Building concept is the work of the International Living Future Institute.

This year’s competition challenged entrants to design the ultimate, sustainable classroom building as an annex to the overcrowded Eli Whitney Elementary School on Chicago’s southwest side. HOK brought together members of the firm’s architecture, interior design and sustainable design studios for this cross-disciplinary competition. Team members included Lindy McAra, Justin Warner, Meredith McBride, Olia Miho and Farid Pour.

HOK’s team focused on a strategy that achieved two goals: the creation of a living facade that is also an inviting surface. The design connects the building to the site with a surface that people can interact with and see throughout the building.

LBCCC_2014_2An active, “living” exterior skin acts as a shading device and learning tool by changing shape based on the outside temperature through the use of bimetallic strips. When the exterior temperature rises, the panels of aluminum and oxidized copper close, thus acting as a shading device. Once the temperature cools, the panels reopen, increasing the amount of light that enters the building.

The Valerio Dewalt Train design also made use of a dynamic façade. Their plan calls for passive airflow within the building via operable windows and cavities in the skin. The façade would also capture 100% of the rainwater on the top and sides of the building.

The competition jurors were Rand Eckman from Cannon Design, community members Yolanda Lozano and Teresa Berumen, Ruairi Barnwell and Dennis Bane of DLR Group, Forum Studio’s Evan Jahn and Jonny Noble, Lety Murray from +Space and Narada Golden of YR&G. Other entries came in from Strang, Inc., a Madison, WI-based architecture firm and multiple student entries from Judson University and IIT. Lane Williams and Kevin Danikowski, both of Judson, accepted the honorable mentions.

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