UNO Soccer Academy

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The building stands as a shinning beacon for the community, engaging students as well as residents of the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood to play active roles in their education, through means of a strong curriculum supplemented by the culturally embraced sport of soccer and community outreach programs.

The design of the building itself is inspired by the educational development of the children it serves. The building appears to grow out of the ground, where programs such as learning theaters, administrative components, and classrooms frame a soccer field courtyard. Developmentally essential programs including a fitness center and resource library progress the movement of the building upward. Finally, the building culminates in a community center that frames views of the Chicago skyline, inspiring students and neighbors to achieve their potential.

This highly innovative design turns a conventional school inside out. By locating the corridors along the largely glass perimeter, while using glass walls for the classrooms, the school is able to dramatically increase daylight and views inside the classrooms. Natural light is allowed to fully penetrate the spaces, creating an efficient learning environment. This arrangement allows for the additional benefits of increased teaching surfaces, as well as a heightened sense of community connectivity.


































Architect of Record



United Neighborhood Organization

General Contractor

Ghafari Associates


  • Ghafari
  • Primera
  • Terry Guen Associates