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Helmut Jahn Designs Building for the Homeless

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 13, 2004 11:38AM

IIT Dorms - Photo: Washington PostHelmut Jahn is now going to be designing environmentally friendly housing for the poor in Chicago. Scheduled to be built next year on a vacant lot near Cabrini-Green, Jahn's building is environmentally friendly and made of stainless steel and glass. Its shape will be like a Twinkie, very similar to the Illinois Institute of Technology dorms he designed (pictured at the left). It will have rooftop wind turbines and solar panels, as well as a recycling system that collects rainwater and uses it to flush the toilets.

The structure will consist of 100 units and will include public areas where residents can meet and socialize. Homeless advocates say they hope the building will draw attention to the "supportive housing movement," which unlike shelters, have social services and counseling offered on-site. The people living there also have their very own room.

Helmut JahnJahn was born in Germany and emigrated to Chicago in the 60s to go to IIT and study under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Currently, he is President and CEO at Murphy/Jahn in Chicago. The projects of his you're probably most familiar with are the James R. Thompson Center, the United Airlines Terminal at O'Hare, the 1981 addition to the Chicago Board of Trade, One South Wacker Drive, and Northwest Atrium Center. Whew. Good thing we got that Chicago architecture book for our birthday a few days ago!

Chicagoist on Jahn's design submission for the new Rock n' Roll McDonalds.