Integrating Principles of Universal Design, the renovation maximizes the community center's space to provide programs where people with developmental disabilities can achieve personal success.
Chicago Tribune, feature
The design creates convivial spaces that enable individuals with diverse abilities to interact within a comfortable and safe environment. CEL members are challenged by societal isolation and barriers to their full participation.
User capabilities shaped the design details, which are highly functional yet non-institutional and inconspicuous. Additional program space was a priority for the community center, which is a social lifeline to youths and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.
In addition to program components for members’ activities, spaces included an improved entry, toilets/changing rooms, and reorganized staff office and break spaces. The more efficient plan creates flexible, multiple-use spaces. Open planning reduces barriers; additional circulation improves mobility and wayfinding; and updated, easier to use facilities enhance staff interaction with members. Sustainable materials and abundant natural light improve the quality of the indoor environment.