Chicago, IL  |  2016

In our submission for the Chicago Architecture Foundation's 50 Wards exhibit, we advocate for an adjustment of mindset from the currently popular Transit Oriented Developments to the design and implementation of projects along the 'L' lines that fulfill the promise of transit-oriented experiences. L’eftspace is located between the Belmont and Wellington 'L' stops in Chicago’s 44th Ward. It proposes various uses and activities in the spaces above, below and to the sides of the train tracks, and connects a neighborhood that is divided today.

The area below the tracks is transformed into a thriving pedestrian lane filled with pop-up shops and food trucks. Filtered sunlight allows zones of landscaping. Space to either side of the train line is used for a new type of residential unit, one that is geared to maximum convenience and connection. Imagine waking up, preparing breakfast alongside the 'L' platform, and catching the next Loop-bound train to work: bed-to-brownline in a blink. Air rights above the tracks are strategically sold, create working and living spaces and provide units with uninterrupted city views.

Charles Eames once remarked that “eventually, everything connects”. In an age in which our digital connections grow at a rapid pace, let’s make sure we focus on the physical connections in our neighborhoods as well.