Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Program: Community Center and Worship
Status: Unbuilt
Collaborative Partners: Oslund, Arup

The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center for The Salvation Army in Chicago developed possibilities at the street and side walks to allow easy accessibility to the community. The Salvation Army mission for this project: to change the spiritual fabric of a city, lead to the development of a design that works at the multiple scales of the city.

The plan proposes a single, multi story building along 47th Street strengthening the commercial character of the street by adding community services at the pedestrian level. Sports, education, family services and worship would be visible from the street and help enliven the character of 47th Street. This dense urban building allows a rich interaction of those using the community center by creating one shared active lobby space that becomes the Celebration Room. The Worship Space is located on the most visible corner which allows the congregation a view back to the city, to focus on the larger goals of The Salvation Army. All circulation paths on the site are generated from the Worship Space.

A large portion of the site was dedicated as Taylor Park in the early 1960s in the memory of Robert R. Taylor, the African American Architect/Developer who built affordable housing in the Black Belt and served as chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority. The creation of Salvation Park engenders a paradigm shift for Chicagos neighborhoods and reaches far into the community touching every member. The State Street edge of Salvation Park continues the green boulevard that begins downtown while providing space for drop in activities: basketball, skateboarding, chess, a childrens playground and a Farmers Market. At the Southeast corner of the site, there is an outdoor Worship amphitheater connected visibly to the main Worship space by an elevated walkway. This amphitheatre continues the tradition of The Salvation Armys outdoor ministry.