OSO Apartments serves as a catalyst for innovative affordable housing in Chicago. This project was initiated as part of Chicago Housing Authority's commitment to combating systemic housing displacement and extend to surrounding communities. OSO is a new construction, 5-story 48-unit affordable housing project in the Albany Park neighborhood. OSO is the Spanish word for “bear”, fitting name to express resiliency and strength for one of the nation's most culturally diverse communities.
We worked closely with the affordable housing developer and local community groups to establish a program of 1- and 2-bedroom affordable apartments, community rooms, tenant amenities, a public courtyard, and an art mural wall -- all nestled in the heart of the neighborhood. In early conversations with the development team and neighborhood leaders, it was evident that the project site, as a corner lot on the busy Montrose Avenue, demanded an expressive corner as part of the building's composition. Our team envisioned a celebrated corner that would reflect themes of climate-based design, through projecting sun shades, and also carry the most welcoming feature of the project --the building's entry lobby, a public plaza, and an art mural. Now built, this building has immediately become a landmark for both tenants and the community.