A Safe Haven: Affordable Veterans Housing

Bold contemporary forms mark these 34 infill units of housing in the Village of Melrose Park, Illinois. Each house’s design serves the specific needs of veterans, with abundant daylight a key feature. A boxy brick, wood and glass front provides a contrast to an overall gabled form that relates to the predominant neighboring house type. The dual forms of the exterior provide a theme for the overall composition of the house—defined and undefined spaces, visible and hidden security—all of which speak to the complex redefinition issues that face returning veterans in contemporary American society.

The landscaping utilizes native plant species to provide a lush naturalistic setting. Additional facilities include a management office and playlot. The latter serves as a community gathering space, providing a safe child play zone for residents and their offspring.

LOCATION: Melrose Park, IL
CLIENT: A Safe Haven and West Suburban Housing Development Corp.
ARCHITECT: UrbanWorks, Ltd.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Karant+Associates
VISUALIZATION: UrbanWorks, Ltd. and Hoffman Visualization