Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.)

Unbuilt Design Award Submission

With a big vision and a small, dilapidated space, the Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.) needs a new home. Located in Evanston, Illinois, it is Y.O.U.’s vision that all young people acquire the skills, self-confidence, and opportunity to participate fully, freely, and responsibly in the life of the community. Y.O.U. helps transition the youth to adulthood by providing an array of services and life skills that respond to the unmet needs of many disadvantaged young people. Those services include academic assistance, life skills, social skill development, recreational and athletic activities, cultural activities, crisis intervention, mentoring, and individual, group, and family counselling.

Set in a mixed-density residential neighborhood, the new 12,000SF facility was conceived as a “front porch,” the physical and contextual element that transitions people from the privacy and security of the home to the public nature of the street. The new building is set back to create an “in-between” zone that allows a large wood surface to travel seamlessly from interior to exterior, providing a safe but semi-exposed place for youth to socialize, study, and acquire necessary life skills. The building’s continuous wrapper is composed of corrugated metal panels whose durability and economy were essential to the organization’s requirements.

General contractor
Evanston, IL