Community Market of Mckinley Park

EllaBrakhage's Community Market

2018 National DiscoverDesign Competition:


“Our community market design, located at McKinley Park in Chicago, and will serve the community of over 16 thousand residence by providing a beautiful community market that has indoor and outdoor spaces, that are comfortable all year round. It is appealing to individuals of all ages, and provides access to healthy food options at low cost."

Collect Info

Mckinley Park is a community with a current population of 16,062 people. Mckinley Park is a quaint community, in the southwest side of Chicago, that provides its residence with the perks of living in Chicago without the hustle and bustle. It is acquainted with great restaurants, amazing shops, and great public outdoor spaces that attack the crowds. The community has a variety of food options that include Mexican, American, Seafood, Hawaiian, Asian, Italian, and a variety of other restaurants. Because of Mckinley's values of keeping the community quaint, their corporate shopping stores are limited. They do have bigger, “one stop and shop”, stores including Target, Walmart, a variety of Thrift Stores, and other automotive, homegood, and hardware stores within the community.

Brainstorm Ideas

When planning and conceptualizing this challenge, we wanted to have empathy for the community the market would be built in. We realized after during our research, that we needed to add specific features to our market to make it serve the community better. Our first initial design featured offset, rectangular prisms for a modern design, something different from the mid-century modern feel of the neighborhood. It is accompanied by a first floor playground and grass area; a library and study center for kids, teens, and adults on the second floor; an abundance and variety of shops and stores on the third floor, and a greenhouse, which produces fresh produce and other crops, a community market with fresh foods for low prices, and a few restaurants supplied with food grown in the greenhouse. Our design was made to have attractions for multiple age groups, and be able to provide something for everyone in the community. Also, after analyzing more data from the community and reading the comments that citizens have left on various websites, we found that residents of the community have had a hard time obtaining healthy food options. With that in mind, we decided to create a greenhouse, that inhabits the entirety of the fourth floor. This would not only provide healthy food options to families and citizens of the community and restaurants among the third floor, but it will also provide volunteering and job opportunities for people of the community.

Develop Solutions

After all of our brainstorming and research, we wanted to be able to create a place, where people could not only stop before their big commutes to work, but also a place where families and people could utilize the space and bring unity within the community. Designing a building with interesting and unique features, was one of our biggest goals. We did this is hopes of bringing a greater attraction to the area, and also creating something unique and modern for the community. We decided to make our building out of a combination of materials including: wood, bricks, concrete, and glass. Due their great natural insulation, we have the ability to cut costs on heating and cooling of the space and aesthetic visual appeal. And the outdoor section and the rooftop greenhouse do not require any electricity. We also have potential ideas to create an airflow system that works through the large pillars in our design, that is a biomimicry of termite mounds. This biomimicry design was also done in a building in Zimbabwe, Africa. This would create a year round temperature of 70 degrees fahrenheit.

Final Design

The Mckinley Park neighborhood is missing something. They are missing an element of their community that provides a safe space for residence, and also unity within them. Our building design not only provides an amazing space for individuals and families to go and enjoy, but it also provides goods and jobs for the community as well. Our building also provides the community with healthy produce and fresh food options, while also partnering with volunteer groups and creating jobs for the community. The inclusion of our design in Mckinley Park would be absolutely revolutionary, and serve the community in more ways than providing healthy produce.