WJW recently participated in the “Fill the (Housing) Gap: A Missing Middle Design Competition” hosted by the Illinois Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). Among numerous entries from across the country, WJW is proud to have received Honorable Mention for Adaptability!
CNUIL’s competition focused on the “Missing Middle” housing typology, which includes a range of multi-unit or clustered housing types compatible in scale with single-family homes that help meet the growing demand for walkable urban living. The “missing middle,” a concept which has frequently gone “missing” in recent years as a result of zoning regulations and lack of new construction, encourages medium-density population growth, economic development, placemaking, sustainability, and improved quality of life.
Our site for the competition was located in Peoria, IL; very near downtown and in between Bradley University and the Peoria medical district. Given these proximities, we focused our design solution on providing flexible dwelling units for young professionals, students and older adults. The Living Middle design includes places for people to live, work, interact, learn, and create community. The site includes two building types: a mixed use building with commercial space, live/work units and larger apartments for shared living and a residential building with adaptable units that allow opportunities for live in caregivers or an accessory dwelling unit. WJW’s concept sought to provide living spaces that are adaptable and flexible to the evolving needs of a diverse population. The re-imagination and implementation of the in-between spaces like streetscapes, alleys, and courts affords residents the opportunity to develop strong connections with each other and the community at large.
WJW’s submission is attached below, followed by an animation by Albert that provides a conceptual overview of The Living Middle and illustrates what the design could look like in a real world context. We look forward to applying concepts that were explored within this competition to future projects.
WJW is proud of all who worked so diligently on this project. A Design Symposium honoring the competition entries will be held later in 2019.