Lake Street Studios

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

This nine and half story development brings 61 micro-units to the Greek Town/Fulton Market restaurant district of downtown Chicago and provides transit-oriented affordable workforce housing. With only five parking spaces, its program is reflective of today’s trends toward car-free living.  The use of color also creates identity for residents and energizes the transit corridors.

The design responds contextually to the mass transit, pedestrian, Chicago River, and automotive traffic around the site and the I-90/94 “expressway wall” which defines the western edge of the Chicago loop. These systems are reflected in a balancing act of movement and stillness in the articulation of the elevations. The prefinished metal insulated panel skin was chosen for its durability, low maintenance, and light weight. Limited by a standard color palette, the blues and whites reference the sky, river, and nearby high-rises, while the copper accent picks up on the red and orange masonry of the lower surrounding buildings.

In addition to the typical budget challenges associated with affordable housing, the narrow thirty-foot-wide site set limits and drove the planning process. This resulted in a single-loaded corridor which gives all units unobstructed views of downtown.

Architect of Record

Harley Ellis Devereaux


Interfaith Housing Development

General Contractor

Linn Mathes


  • Harley Ellis Devereaux
  • Eriksson Engineering
  • Shiner&Associates