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Community a Priority for Students Imagining Pilsen Development

By Chloe Riley | January 11, 2013 11:10am | Updated on January 13, 2013 8:30pm

PILSEN — This weekend, Illinois Institute of Technology students will debut their versions of an imaginary workspace that combines community and environmentally friendly space under one roof.

The event, hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation at the La Casa student dormitory at 1818 S. Paulina St., features a presentation by 14 Illinois Institute of Technology students.

For their Fall 2012 projects, the fourth- and fifth-year architecture students had to create a model and a project plan for an imaginary textile warehouse located at the empty warehouse near Sangamon and 18th streets.

“We’re kind of infatuated with Pilsen right now,” said Meggan Lux, the class professor and an architect at Urban Works architecture firm.

Urban Works most recently built the La Casa dormitory and resource center, a space for students created by The Resurrection Project, a housing development non-profit.

For each of their projects, students had to discover “the existing fabric” of the Pilsen community and design a space with that community in mind, Lux said.

The warehouse on Sangamon borders both industrial and residential zones and Lux said students played with these elements when designing their spaces.

Fourth-year architecture student Min Jung Kim created her space with a built-in water filtration system that would allow someone walking past to watch the filtration process while standing outside the building.

Evelyn Delgado, another fourth-year student, designed a model with gardens inside four glass towers, representing the four seasons.

The students’ work will be presented Saturday at 1659 W. 18th St. from 2-5:30 p.m. The Resurrection Project will also lead a discussion about a potential textile center and the La Casa building. Refreshments will be provided.