Bella Noir Community
Bronzeville, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 100,000 sf
Category: Mixed Use, Residential, Office, Commercial
Services: Architecture, Master Planning, Interiors
Jason Nuttelman, Kai Liu, Jose C. Garcia, Emily Wilson, Allison Newmeyer
The vision behind Bella Noir is the belief that everyone should have equal access and opportunity to be successful in today’s society. Many Americans face persistent gaps in wealth and opportunity that prevent them from reaching their full potential, which in turn hinders them from contributing fully to their communities and the economy. Disparities undermine productivity and economic potential of many African American communities across the nation; Bronzeville is one of those communities.
Every citizen within the Bronzeville community is entitled to have the opportunity to be safe, healthy, educated, and prepared to succeed on their chosen path. Bella Noir takes a comprehensive approach to improving the vitality and aesthetic quality of the commercial corridor, provide a safer pedestrian environment, and to ensure continued economic revitalization of the 47th Street commercial corridor.
By locating the building at the street edge, entry points are carved away to create moments of entry. The black corrugated facade allows moments of color to break down the perceived scale of the building. The exterior terraces allow outdoor access to engage with nature at every level of the building design.
Behind the building facade, Bella Noir’s programs invest in the revitalization of the community and addresses the needs of disadvantaged youth while providing a space for the community as a whole to meet their health and wellness needs. These tackle a range of issues, from literacy to college prep and career readiness to finding ways to decrease the number of young people involved with the criminal justice system.