1st Place | The Floating Village by ACE Chicago Team 5

Grade: 10th - 12th

"The Floating Village" is a homeless shelter that addresses basic (Rest), psychological (Revive), and self-fulfillment (Return) needs that are affected by homelessness. The shelter is located in a vacant parcel of land in the neighborhood of Mckinley Park. The proximity near a large park, grocery stores, and other utilities are easily accessible for the residents in the Floating Village, contributing to the basic needs of individuals.

The Village reimagines the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs by dividing rooms and services into three categories: Rest, Revive, and Return. For Rest, since the majority of those that are homeless are individuals, we have provided a series of single resident occupancies with shared laundry facilities above a community resource center. For Revive, we shaped the village in a circle so each unit can appreciate the internal green courtyard, and although the users are living on their own, there is a feeling of belonging to a community, like a village! Lastly, Return encompasses the educational, employment, and mental health resources for the community. From a library to fuel your intellectual juices, a yoga/meditation room to rejuvenate your spiritual side to a fitness center to exercise and even a donut shop as a way to reward yourself at the end of the day, our village truly unites people in all of its spaces.

The courtyard is designed so that the paths weave and intersect throughout the center, ensuring a close-knit and inviting village center. All of these spaces are job opportunities too! Villagers can work in the donut shop, maintain the courtyard, cook in the cafeteria, shelve books in the library or even lead yoga and meditation classes. In essence, the floating village is a community hub for people in need to work together on their mental, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual journeys.

Project Team: Keylan Aguilar, Sarah Baker, Carlos Carretero, Luca Casler-Bustamante, Vicky Chen, Hangching Cheung, Daniel Cruz, Alexander Gordon, Fionn Hui, Isaac Izaguirre, Benjamin Kittaka, Casey Kowalsky, Mia Kowalsky, Camila Marden, Ewan McLean, David Morales, Andrea Nava, Dante Ragozzino, Crystal Reyes, Giselle Romano, Stephanie Sangabriel, Benjamin Sherman, Darnell Shields, Keaton Soriano, Diego Urenda, and Dan Velez Jr.