Broadway Youth Center (BYC) provides a home for Chicago’s young LGBTQ+ community to access comprehensive social and medical services in liberating and dignified spaces.
The new five-story structure weaves the unique values and identities of the BYC community 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, wraps around and knits the building together like a quilt – symbolizing unity within the diverse community of individuals.
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 colours 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.
Clinic spaces feature improved filtration, abundant natural light and high-performance glazing for acoustic isolation. Double-height windows flood the dance room with light, providing a secure, comfortable space for clients to socialize, exercise and express themselves.
By providing critical health care and social services in a safe, inclusive environment, BYC commits to addressing health inequities and promoting the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. The project reduces the barriers to seeking care and integrates trauma-informed principles in a vibrant, light-filled facility that allows young people to heal, grow and flourish.