Leopardo Project Honored With Innovation Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Technology in Architectural Practice and Construction Contract Administration Knowledge Communities named the Youth & Opportunity United, Inc. (Y.O.U.) headquarters and education center at 1911 Church St. in Evanston as a 2016 TAP/CCA Innovation award recipient.

The project is being recognized for its exemplary use of technology. “The architects understood that the youth, not the building, needed to be the campaign’s focus, so they created multiple 360-degree virtual reality video renderings of spaces in the building, populated with video avatars of young people served by the organization acting as tour guides, explaining how Y.O.U. and the new building would impact their lives,” writes AIA. “Through the dynamic video rendering, community members and donors experienced Y.O.U’s mission, rather than just their plans.”

Y.O.U. is a non-profit youth development agency offering after-school programs, mentoring, as well as parental engagement and counseling services to meet the emerging needs of young people and their families. Their new 12,871-square-foot headquarters will feature first-floor transformative learning spaces, counseling offices, a makerspace, teaching kitchen, as well as additional instructional and gathering spaces. The building’s second floor will house administration and office spaces, along with conference rooms.

Leopardo, serving as general contractor, is providing preconstruction and construction services in collaboration with architect Studio Talo. The project broke ground in March 2016 and is on track for a winter 2017 completion.