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Client:  Santa Lucia School, K-8
Location:  Bridgeport / Armour Square
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Project Summary:  A small urban school on the Southside of Chicago, shy on space but full of energy, was in desperate need of an outdoor space for their children.  The ACE student team, with the support of professionals and volunteers, was able to help transform a 10’ x 125’ neglected concrete side-yard into an appealing outdoor space.  The improved site added 1200 sf of useable outdoor space wtih gardens, gathering spaces and some room for young children to stretch their legs.  The ACE students nicknamed their project ‘Giardino’, in a nod to Santa Lucia’s Italian roots.
The design includes two semi-circular garden spaces intermingled with two larger outdoor classroom areas.  Gabion benches,constructed from reclaimed concrete provide seating and help to define the boundaries of each space.  Other elements include a life-size chessboard, a laser-etched mural, and a colorful wall of polycarbonate panels, designed to protect clerestory windows to the basement.
All of this was completed for $7000 in just 7 weeks, by soliciting the support of local contractors and other friends of Santa Lucia.  Congratulations to our client and to our student team on completing one of our most ambitious projects to date!
Matt Snoap, ACE Summer Workshop Director

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