A new clubhouse, designed by Gensler, is intended to bring modern amenities to the ever-evolving residential community at the Bronzeville neighborhood’s Prairie Shores housing complex. A model for post-war urban development, the residential complex has been a fixture on Chicago’s Southside lakefront since the late 1950s. Informed by feedback from current residents, local businesses, and community organizations, the 17,150-square-foot amenity building will provide a much-needed “third place” in a neighborhood without easy access to communal space or retail.
Inspired by the sandy lakefront dunes that once swept across the site, the design features a gently curving shape that allows and encourages engagement. The building promotes health and wellbeing by providing access to nature through an occupied roof deck and landscaped plazas as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga studios, healthy food options, and programmed community activities. Given the site’s proximity to the lakefront, special consideration was given to the migratory paths of native birds with the use of a bird-safe acid etched glass, the first of its kind in Chicago, which also creates a unique cloud-like aesthetic on the facade.