Yesterday afternoon, City of Chicago officials joined neighborhood representatives to announce a new fieldhouse project slated for Williams Park in Bronzeville. Designed by Chicago-based STLArchitects, the roughly 10,000-square-foot building would serve the existing 8.5-acre park and would feature a half-court gymnasium plus multi-purpose club rooms for art, education, performances, meetings, and other community programming.
The structure will be wrapped in an iridescent metal cladding reminiscent of fish scales that will playfully change color in the sunlight. Inside, STLArchitects envisions an interior designed to be both inviting as well as durable. According to Chicago Architecture Blog, it will utilize a mix of hardy materials such as polished concrete floors, composite acrylic polymers, and exposed “glue-lam” (glued laminated timber) overhead beams.
The new recreational building—plus newly announced upgrades to the Chicago Bee library branch—will join other recent investments in Bronzeville. Other notable recent additions to the South Side neighborhood include a Mariano's grocery store, the Park District’s Ellis Park Arts and Recreation Center, and a new pedestrian bridge connecting the neighborhood to Chicago’s lakefront at 35th Street.
Reportedly in the works for five years, the $6 million Williams Park Fieldhouse project will be financed by the Chicago Housing Authority. No word yet as to when the new building is expected to break ground, the duration of its construction schedule, or when it will open to the community.
- Mayor Emanuel Announces New Fieldhouse and Renovated Library Coming to Bronzeville [City of Chicago]
- Chicago Lakeshore Fieldhouse to be Skinned Like a Fish [Chicago Architecture Blog]
- Bronzebille archives [Curbed Chicago]