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A Transformative
Community Project

Commercial Developments: A Not-For-Profit, An Architect and A Solution For Students & Residents

REALIZE the Possibilities. DESIGN Your Reality. INFLUENCE Your Life and Community.



The Executive Director an arts-focused nonprofit organization approached JP Architects, Ltd. with an idea that would provide a much-needed community space to Chicago’s Englewood Neighborhood. The goal was to develop a Performing Arts Center that supported the arts community and created a safe space for students and residents to congregate and participate in after school activities. The challenge to making this reality was our client needed to gain support from the community, donors, and local leaders.


The first step for JP Architects, Ltd. was conceptualizing a design that could be used for this purpose. So, our team gathered in our conference room for a brainstorming session on what this facility could potentially look like. Coming out of that session, our team established a design and program based on our client’s desires for the space. We began work on a package our client could use for presentation purposes, which included multiple rendering views, a program breakdown, site plan and floor plans. This presentation allowed our partner to approach local leaders, donors, and the community with confidence, and what it ultimately resulted in was more than we or our partner ever expected.





With the presentation in hand, our partner was able to visually share the effect this performing arts center would have on the community. Building a coalition is difficult but being equipped with the proper support materials makes it more achievable. Ultimately, our partner crossed paths with someone who owned a parcel of land that housed a former factory / industrial building. After our partner shared his vision for the community, this property owner decided to donate the land and building to the Non-Profit Organization -- making this new community space for Chicago’s Englewood Neighborhood another step closer to reality. Now, it is our job to find a way to creatively (and functionally) re-use the existing building to fit the intended program.




Let’s be clear...it is not ours or our partner’s intent to demolish the existing buildings on the site. This means the original rendering and program must be rethought to fit this existing structure. The building itself has separate areas – a former production factory with delivery and drop-off bays and office space. It provides ample opportunity to create a performing arts facility that contains all necessary studios, perks, facilities, and spaces. So, JP Architects, Ltd.’s Design Lead and Associate Principal began working on a new design to transform this site and the surrounding streets into a thriving destination. This included reworking the site to create a grand entrance and accommodate parking and drop-off, changing the façade of the building to enhance the exterior aesthetic, and creating a new atrium / public gathering space, connecting the studio side of the facility to the performing arts wing. Additionally, we had to re-plan the interior of the space to meet the intended program expectations. Ultimately, our partner was satisfied with the conceptual design we established for the existing building and is now exploring funding options to officially make this transformative space a reality and anchor organization for future investment in the Englewood Neighborhood.






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Until next time,

Jose R. Pareja, AIA

President | JP Architects, Ltd.



JP Architects, Ltd. is a full-service architecture firm specializing in restaurant design, public planning projects and commercial architecture. We have a young and vibrant team led by leadership who is progressive in their management style. We serve Chicagoland and North & Central Illinois and are licensed in multiple States. We bring sound principles of design, creativity, innovation, resourcefulness, reliability, quality, and functional architecture and interior design to each project. At JP Architects, Ltd. we REALIZE. the Possibilities, DESIGN. Your Reality. & INFLUENCE. Your Life and Community.