Elective Studio: Next to Nothing

Matt Due & Luke Jacques


The title of the studio alludes to the location of the proposed development in the middle of Chicagoland’s bland ex-urban landscape. Taking inspiration from the grain of the surrounding farm rows and a dense urban core lead to the master plan organizational concept. The buildings take on the potential of unlimited variation only using concrete, cross-laminated timber with charred and natural cedar finishes, and glass. Each bar of housing is based on a set of conventions that organize the relationship between individual dwellings and the overall housing complex of which they are a part. The space between the building become as important as the inside. It was considered desirable to have the development be walkable and to limit the domination of vehicles over the paved space between buildings. Our method of accomplishing this was to introduce interruptions in the street with landscaping and shared decks. The parking strategy is a combination of dedicated spots in the basements and street parking. A variety of outdoor green spaces are designed ranging in scale from private interior gardens to pocket parks to large communal common spaces.