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Nourishing Hope – HQ

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More nourishment. More hope.

As food insecurity continued to rise during the pandemic, Lakeview Pantry began to evolve into more than a North-Side food pantry, warranting a change in their name as they expanded their community offerings to serve more people on the South and West sides of Chicago. Nourishing Hope was born.

Located in the West Town neighborhood, two former manufacturing structures—a head building and an auxiliary warehouse—have been repurposed into the organization’s new headquarters for all office and administration functions, expanded social services, and warehouse space for cold, frozen, and dry storage. An oversized private alley between the buildings becomes a new unexpected social center where an installation of festoon lights will soon connect the two buildings, adding a dignified atmosphere for drive-through food pickup and outdoor events. The rear building houses nearly 200 pallets and serves as the central hub for pre-packaged boxes of food for online market pickup and home delivery programs.

One’s first encounter at Nourishing Hope’s new campus is a dramatic, colorful mural over the building’s prominent west façade, painted by Chicago’s Pilsen-based artist, Pablo Serrano. The mural contains thematic layers—the journey of food from the soil to people in need, the complex challenges of Chicago, the transformative power of community—bound together by bright yellow rays emanating from a yin-and-yang heart and mind at the center. After entering the “back alley”, volunteers, staff, and clients alike go into the head building through a friendly “back door.” Once inside, all are greeted by iconic food graphics, color, and lighting techniques; familiar DNA carried from Nourishing Hope’s other distribution and service sites.

In addition to the mural, the project further reengages with the community in myriad ways. Former bricked-in south-facing window openings are reopened. Three oversized skylights are added to naturally light social services/mental wellness spaces, primary staff areas including a large conference room, flex area, lounge, open office hoteling, and eight glazed offices. Additional internal windows are strategically inserted between the second-floor staff spaces and warehouse to further visual connections between functions. Bold colors/graphic volumes bracket/define the volunteer packing areas and common staff areas.

As the organization’s fourth, largest and most central location, the new headquarters is instrumental in meeting the needs of Chicagoans facing food insecurity through increased online market operation, packing lines, the ability to accept more food donations and the new facility offers increased support for mental wellness and social services.

Food for today. Hope for tomorrow.

Structural: Enspect Engineering
General Contractor: Oakwood Development
MEP: Building Engineering Systems
Lighting Designer: Lux Populi
PhotographyTom Harris Architectural Photography