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In cooperation with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Center is excited to announce the Come Home Initiative, part of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s signature community development effort, INVEST South/West, which aims to reverse decades of disinvestment and depopulation and transform the urban fabric of Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods.

Come Home is a design competition and wealth building initiative that will support “missing middle density” infill housing in Auburn Gresham, Bronzeville, East Garfield Park, Englewood, Humboldt Park and Woodlawn. Our juried Request for Qualifications invites architects to reimagine Chicago’s single family home, two- and three-flat, rowhouse and six-flat typologies to prioritize affordability, construction efficiency and 21st century lifestyles.

Ultimately, Come Home seeks to create a community development model that will attract and welcome current and former Chicago residents “back home.” The initiative is based around three key areas:

  1. The City’s identification and packaging of vacant lots and land management for redevelopment
  2. The identification of new designs for infill housing, with an emphasis on “missing middle density" (through a juried competition)
  3. Strengthening pride of place in key neighborhoods

These housing investments will build on the more than $750 million INVEST South/West has corralled in taxpayer money and private investment for the rebuilding of Chicago’s historically underserved South and West Side neighborhoods. What’s more, it provides the opportunities the professional design community has long sought to leverage design as a tool for building local wealth and improving quality of life. Through it all, the reinvestment work will continue to prioritize local talent, particularly from BIPOC communities and embrace proven tenets of design excellence.

As part of Come Home, the City is committing to the delivery of 30-100 affordable units across the six focus communities. Construction starts on the case study buildings is estimated to commence in the second half of 2023.

Current Progress Report

We wish to thank the scores of design firms across Chicago and far beyond who responded to the Come Home RFQ. We are excited to announce the following shortlist of 42 teams that have been invited to present their design solutions in a pop-up poster exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Center in March 2023. Stay tuned for more announcements about this public event coming soon.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to peruse the breadth of talent that will soon be sharing their new ideas at the CAC. A selection of winning design teams from the exhibition will then move on to Phase 3 in the Come Home competition spring 2023.


ACDF Architecture (Montreal); Architecture for Public Benefit and Peter Rose + Partners; CAMESgibson; Canopy Architecture and Design; Chicago Design Office; Civic Projects Architecture + Marlon Blackwell Architects (Fayetteville, AK); DAAM; David Baker Architects (San Francisco); Dirk Denison Architects; DMAC Architecture & Interiors; DNA Architecture & Design, Inc. (Los Angeles); Frida Escobedo Studio (Mexico City); Future Firm; Höweler + Yoon (Boston); Hufft (Kansas City, MO); Jahn/; kevin daly Architects (Los Angeles); Krueck Sexton Partners; Kwong Von Glinow; Lamar Johnson Collaborative; Latent Design; Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects [LOHA] (Los Angeles); MERGE Architects (Boston); MOS (New York); NADAAA (Boston); nARCHITECTS (New York); New Office; Nia Architects + Yu & Associates Collaborative; OJT (New Orleans); Park Fowler +; PRODUCTORA (Los Angeles, New York and Mexico City); Range Design & Architecture; Ross Barney Architects; Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects; Studio Becker Xu; Studio Sean Canty, LLC + Office III (Boston); TATIANA BILBAO ESTUDIO (Mexico City); TBDA + Blacks in Green; UrbanLab + The Available City; Valerio Dewalt Train; Vladimir Radutny Architects Inc.; von Weise Associates

The Jury

Reed Kroloff
Dean and The Rowe Family College
of Architecture Endowed Chair, IIT
College of Architecture
Catherine Baker
Founder, Nowhere Collaborative
Jackie Koo
Principal, KOO Architecture
Brian Lee
Consulting Partner, Skidmore,
Owings & Merrill
Leon Walker
Managing Partner, DL3 Realty