Missing Middle Infill Housing


TBDA teamed up with Blacks In Green and Inherent Homes to propose a bigger picture solution for empty lots in Chicago, as a way of revitalizing historically disinvested neighborhoods. Given the empty lots, greenways cut the long blocks in half, creating walking paths, community gardens, and gathering and play spaces. Let’s not just put buildings back in and perpetuate the old pattern if we can have something better!

Then the buildings–of course they’re Phius buildings, meeting Architecture 2030 targets, with outdoor spaces for all units, fully accessible, with a mix of units from 1-br to 4-br to accommodate¬†different ages and family structures. Plantings are optimized via vertical gardens, and the roof features a BioVoltaic system. Another important feature is the community space–for the larger (6-unit) buildings, connected by greenways, a network of services and functions can exist–from day care to maker spaces to places to take or teach classes, a new kind of social resiliency can grow. Add to this a community microgrid (solar powered) and alley geothermal for new buildings and simplified decarbonization, and we have a system-level resiliency solution! Kind of like scattered-site co-housing with clean energy and more greenspaces. Similar with our 2+1, addressing the need to accomodate different family structures and makeups.

We’re profoundly grateful to Blacks In Green for their vision and activism, and to Inherent Homes for making modular prefab work in Chicago, addressing workforce, quality, and affordability.

Proposed Completion

The Architect’s Newspaper, March 24, 2023, “Forty-two finalists announced for Come Home, a housing ideas competition in Chicago”