Public and Affordable Housing
The design of public and affordable housing in Chicago has been based on three principles. The first principle is that public housing is, above all, housing, and should be integrated into the surrounding neighborhood with the goal of developing mixed income communities that includes subsidized and affordable rental housing and market rate for-sale housing. The second principle is one of equality. All components of the mixed-income community should appear the same with no distinction or differentiation visible from the street. This requires careful architectural design both in terms of exterior expression and materials, in order to work within the budget constraints of subsidized housing while accommodating the higher percentage of larger family units associated with these developments. The third principle is one of ownership and stewardship. All areas should be under the direct ownership or the immediate oversight and stewardship of residents and owners who are stakeholders in the success of the development and the mixed-income community. Front doors should face the street or the interior block common areas. Units at grade-level should have private front yards, back yards, or roof terraces. There should be common areas for play, passive use, and social interaction that give the residents the sense of being part of a small neighborhood with oversight from adjacent residents and neighbors who are stewards and advocates. Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc. provides landscape architectural services for the revitalization and new construction of public housing and affordable housing. Our services include site planning; preparation of landscape plans for planning and zoning review; design and documentation of landscape, hardscape, site work, and irrigation; and construction phase services, including contract administration, plant selection, and construction observation.