the lift loft
The lift loft is a new model for affordable housing in Chicago. Incorporating incremental design, the units can change over time to suit the needs of a changing population.
The theme of the EP Exhibit 2016 is It Takes a Community. Selected projects showcase the best work from young designers highlighting community impact and engagement.
The Chicago Two Flat has historically been used to anchor tenants by securing a household and lifting their economic standing through renting out the bottom floor. This “anchor and lift” conceptualization is a useful model for homeless young adults looking to bridge their different states of life.
The modules are separated to encourage access to daylight, views, and the outdoors. This separation allows for future adaptability for the model to be utilized for broader use in general affordable housing. Manifesting incremental design, these units have area to expand over time and with the needs of the owner. Fulfilling ideals of democratic design and equality among a community, the standard two-flat system is translated via geometric “boxed shear,” a translation which allows for a covered entry and upper level terrace for each apartment. This also allows each occupant an upper and lower level; as well as the agency, sense of security, and views that follow.
The modules are accessed one opposite the next, under a covered entry (see spatial diagrams). Each module is identical, and every other module is rotated by 180 degrees. The first floor contains a kitchen and living room, and the bedroom and bathroom are on the upper floor. The space available for expansion is 310 square feet, a change which would bring each apartment to a generous 660 square feet.
Through the use of identical modules and rotational symmetries, this project provides a structured framework for community which provides both equity and complexity.