Fred and Pamela Buffett Place
Fred and Pamela Buffett Place presents a sustainable renovation design for affordable housing. The project aims to provide a safe harbor and support services for the homeless in Chicago.
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.
Fred and Pamela Buffett Place seeks to define a new paradigm for sustainable preservation as it relates to affordable and supportive housing in Chicago. Engaging residents and the community to capitalize on local assets, inspiration, and potential, the project ultimately sets a new standard by creating a welcoming and therapeutic environment that promotes health, happiness, and well-being.
Buffett Place, formerly known as the Diplomat SRO, is a 51-unit sustainable residential and transit-oriented development which provides affordable housing and supportive services to individuals with mental illnesses or at risk of homelessness. The major renovation required the dramatic removal of a one-story structure to create a protected courtyard, bringing light into the center of the building where trained staff provides mental health and wellness programming.
The construction–although challenging in a dense urban area–presented an opportunity for inventive rehabilitation. Salvaged wood joists and framing material were used to produce interior furniture and create a permanent community art installation in the lobby. The original building sign for the hotel was repurposed as a sculptural focal point for the courtyard landscape. The emphasis on resident health extends from the rooftop garden to the ground floor, where a social enterprise flower shop invites neighbors to participate in the revitalization of this building and the recovery of the individuals who reside within it.