A resource for acceptance, affirmation, and empowerment.
The new facility for Howard Brown Health’s Broadway Youth Center (BYC) provides a home for Chicago’s young LGBTQ+ community to access comprehensive social and medical services in spaces that are liberating and dignified.
As Howard Brown’s first new ground-up building, it was important for the project to weave the unique values and identities of Howard Brown and the communities it serves into the physical fabric of the building. At the outermost layer, a façade composed of a patchwork of large masonry panels, made with varying shades and patterns of bricks, wrap around and knit the building together like a quilt, representing BYC’s unique identity and community it serves.
Inside, warm, welcoming and safe spaces allow young people to express themselves. Upon entry, smiling faces immediately greet visitors to help them navigate to their destination, whether the café, clinic services, pharmacy, classrooms, or daily drop-in center on the top levels. Accent colors and murals on each floor coupled with warm maple wood doors and millwork, airy spaces, and comfortable furnishings bring the community’s artistic, youthful, and energetic spirit into peaceful and therapeutic spaces.
From private clinic spaces to a flexible, open lounge on the fifth floor, the project reduces the barriers to seeking care. It integrates trauma-informed principles in a vibrant, light-filled facility that allows young people to heal, grow, and flourish.
Construction Manager: Bulley & Andrews
Structural Engineer: Forefront Engineers
MEP/FP Engineer: dbHMS.
Civil Engineer: Terra Engineering
Landscape Architect: site design group
Acoustic Consultant: Kirkegaard
Healthcare Consultant: Anderson Mikos Architects
Kitchen Consultant: Edge Associates
Owner’s Rep: RLE Partners
Photography: Kendall McCaugherty, Hall + Merrick Photographers