The design of HUB 32, a 65-unit mid-rise residential building in Chicago is inspired by the concept of quilting and stitching. The inspiration came from American patchwork quilting traditions, exemplified by the Gee’s Bend abstract geometric style-which is itself influenced by newspaper- and magazine-collages used for insulation on the inside walls of homes in the early rural American.

Project Name: HUB 32
Studio Name: BROOKS + SCARPA

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The exterior of the building is adorned with a series of materials and forms that mimic the appearance of a quilt, with each part representing a different pattern or color. These panels are arranged in a way that creates a sense of depth and texture, evoking the feeling of a cozy, handmade quilt.

The idea behind using quilting and stitching as the basis for the design was to create a sense of warmth and comfort, as well as a connection to the rich textile tradition of Chicago. The city has a long history of textile production, and we wanted to pay tribute to that history by incorporating these elements into the design of our building.


Overall, the building is designed to be a welcoming and comfortable place for its residents. Taking cues from the rich history of courtyard buildings in Chicago such as Pattington Apartments, the building is designed around an elevated courtyard above ground level commercial space.  The courtyard typology has existed in Chicago for more than two hundred years.  It promotes pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods as an alternative to sprawl, creating usable space in the center of the project, instead of unused, leftover space outside of the building volume. More than any other multi-dwelling housing, courtyard apartments, “make you feel like you belong to a place.”  For people living around the courtyard, the space provides a sense of safety and privacy; the courtyard is a quasi-public space that mediates between the home and the street. For the city at large, the courtyard is an urbane housing type that fits well into neighborhoods. Strategically placed windows, purposeful exterior elements and units that wrap the outer-most edges, orient the apartments to social spaces that are spatially apart, yet visually connected to each other and the street below.

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In addition, the design of the building follows our five guiding principals:  equity, innovation, a sense of place, environmental stewardship, and community engagement.

Design excellence is not mutually exclusive.  It can, and should be for everyone. In terms of equity, we are committed to creating a building that is accessible and welcoming to all members of the community, regardless of their background or circumstances.

We are also committed to innovation, and are constantly seeking out new ways to improve the design and functionality of our building. This includes incorporating sustainable technologies and materials wherever possible, in order to reduce our environmental impact and provide our residents with a high-quality living experience. We embrace a creative approach to design and problem solving.

A sense of place is important to us, and we want our building to be a reflection of the unique character and history of  Garfield Park and the City of Chicago. By incorporating elements of the city’s textile tradition into the design of our building, we hope to create a sense of connection and belonging for our residents.

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Finally, we are committed to environmental stewardship and community engagement. We believe that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and to work together with the community to create a better future for everyone. This includes initiatives such as partnering with local organizations to promote sustainability and supporting community events and initiatives.


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