Lavezzorio Community Center | The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago
Lavezzorio Community Center
As architecture critic Lee Bey told Geoffrey Baer in The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago 2, some of the architecture on Chicago’s South Side is often overlooked, even buildings by such famous architects as Jeanne Gang. Studio Gang designed the Lavezzorio Community Center in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. Some of the building’s beauty lies in its purpose. Completed in 2008, the building houses an organization called SOS Children’s Villages, which works with children and families in the foster care system. It had a relatively small budget of just $3.5 million, with some materials having been donated. In his book Southern Exposure, Bey calls the structure, which features a curiously shaped exterior with visible layers of differently shaded concrete, a “perfect playhouse for kids.” The building emphasizes natural light, with large windows that brighten up the classrooms, offices, and community rooms. A staircase in the building is both structural and fun and is what Studio Gang describes as a “mountain-like landscape” that allows children to climb and play.