Gary Comer Youth Center
- John Ronan Architects
- Comer Science and Education Foundation
- Consultants Arup (Structural); CCJM Engineers (MEP)
- Division Institutional
- Location Chicago, IL
- General contractor W.E. O'Neil Construction Co.
An exuberant newcomer to Lands' End founder Gary Comer's childhood neighborhood, this affable building has space for youth education and recreation programs, as well as the South Shore Drill Team performance group. Jurors liked the way the building turned its "solid skin to the street side, and then opened up inside," thanks in part to numerous skylights that puncture an 8,400-square-foot roof garden. They called the building's colorful cladding "a beautiful element." While the entire set of panels animates the building, individual panels can be replaced after vandalism or other damage, without leaving a visible repair scar. The LED tower atop the Center's 80-foot tower "makes it a neighborhood monument."