Select work completed at Landon Bone Baker Architects

Dorchester Art + Housing 
Chicago, IL

Project Principal
completed 2014

Theaster Gates, now a world-renowned artist from Chicago, began his social and art development practice Rebuild Foundation a few blocks from the Dante Harper Townhouses. As a resident of the neighborhood, he had a vision of repopulating this abandoned Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) property with art and artists—bringing life back to this corner of the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South side.

DA+HC was the first artist residency program located within a public housing development in the country. The foundation of the project—that art and collaboration can transform neighborhoods—has been proven by the success of the housing and the adoption of the project by the neighborhood. 32 new affordable housing units have been brought into a neighborhood desperate for quality affordable housing. The artist-in-residence program remains competitive and in-demand, with the artist residents contributing to the culture and vibrancy of the development. The Arts Center has been embraced by both the city-at-large and the neighborhood. Over 16 partner organizations use the space for programs as diverse as Soul Healing Yoga, Adult Ballet, African Dance, South Side Family Dance Workshop, and a weekly Coffee, Tea & Chat where current and local issues are discussed. The world-renowned Joffrey Ballet even hosts classes in the space.

  • 2017 AIA Illinois, Crombie Taylor Award
  • 2016 AIA/HUD Secretary, Creating Community Connection Award
  • 2016 AIA Chicago, Distinguished Building Award, Special Recognition
  • 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Second Place
  • 2015 Landmark Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse
  • 2015 L andmark Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Project of the Year
  • 2015 Urban Land Institute Chicago Vision Award Winner

  • “AIA Illinois 200 Great Places,” AIA Illinois, May 1, 2018
  • “The AIA at Habitat III,” AIA, 2017
  • “Art, Housing, and Revitalization in the Greater Grand Crossing Neighborhood,” Office of Policy Development and Research, Sept 21, 2016
  • “Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative Wins AIA/HUD Award,” The Architect’s Newspaper, Matthew Messner, July 25, 2016
  • “Four Outstanding Projects Win 2016 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards,” ArchDaily, Patrick Lynch, July 14, 2016
  • “Multi-disciplinary partnerships transforms public housing to arts incubator,” designboom, Feb 26, 2016
  • “The Death and Life of Dante-Harper Townhomes,” Out of the Yards, Justin Manley, Dec 25, 2015
  • “Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative,” Architecture In Development (AID), Adelle, Nov 6, 2015
  • “Best Rehab of a Public Housing Project into Artists’ Housing,” Chicago Reader, Deanna Isaacs, June 24, 2015
  • “Sixteen Winners Announced at ULI Chicago 2015 Vision Awards,” Urban Land Institute Chicago, June 5, 2015
  • “AIA Collaboration: Inner-City Incubator,” Architect Magazine, Feb 15, 2015
  • “Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative Opens in Grand Crossing,” The Chicago Citizen, Deborah Bayliss, Dec 4, 2014
  • “Theaster Gates’ New Artist Housing Development Now Open,” Curbed Chicago, AJ LaTrace, Nov 21, 2014
  • “Shuttered CHA Complex Gets New Life as Artists’ Home,” Chicago Tribune, John Owens, Nov 11, 2014
  • “Artful Rehab,” Chicago Architect, Lee Bey, July 31, 2012
  • “CHA’s New Way,” The Architect’s Newspaper, Alan G. Brake, Nov 9, 2011

Woodlawn Park
Chicago, IL

Project Principal
Woodlawn Park is an affordable housing development that replaced Grove Parc, an award-winning Section 8 housing project designed by Stanley Tigerman and built in 1968. After years of mismanagement,  the property was in a state of severe disrepair and was facing HUD foreclosure. In 2007, the affordable housing developer Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) assumed control of the property and redeveloped the site.

Woodlawn Park was reimagined as an asset by focusing the project outward and by using the busy street of Cottage Grove Avenue. The project carefully designed the streetscape to better clarify public and private edges, establish appropriate massing and setbacks, and create destinations at both ends of the project. The design solution includes three-story walk-up buildings that span the block, eliminating existing curb cuts which previously contributed to the porous nature of the site and encouraged gang movement between the alley and the street. The street edge features a raised planter bed, which provides separation and security for the first floor residents and also serves to detain storm water. The raised central front entry is clear, visible, and secure. Three-bedroom units are located on the rear of the building and have doors that lead to private patios for family space and small play areas.

The Burnham 
completed 2015
65 affordable senior apartments
The third phase of POAH’s redevelopment of Grove Parc Plaza provides senior apartments with amenities such as on-site supportive services, community spaces, and ample outdoor space including a community garden.
The Grant
completed 2013
33 mixed-income apartments
The second phase of POAH’s redevelopment of Grove Parc features a three-story building with pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, transit-oriented goals. The project achieved LEED for Homes Platinum.
The Jackson
completed 2011
67 mixed-income apartments
The first phase of POAH’s redevelopment of Grove Parc that consists of two LEED for Homes Platinum buildings on opposite sides of the street. Amenities include private yards, a tot lot play area, and extensive green features.

  • 2017 AIA Illinois, Daniel Burnham Award
  • 2016 PCI, Retirement/Assisted Living Winner (The Burnham)
  • 2016 PCI, All Precast Solution Co-Winner (The Burnham)
  • 2015 The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, HUD Preservation Properties Honorable Mention
  • 2015 ULI Chicago, Vision Award Winner
  • 2014 CNDA Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design (The Jackson)
  • 2013 State & Local Energy Report, Resident Energy Efficiency Award, Multifamily (The Jackson)

  • “Facades+ Chicago will explore structural and facade systems a dizzying heights,” The Architect’s Newspaper, Matthew Marani, Sept 4, 2018
  • “The dilemma of development: Will Obama center hurt those it’s supposed to help?,” Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin, March 3, 2018
  • “Affordable Housing Developer Planning $25.4 Million In Upgrades In Woodlawn,” DNAinfo, Sam Cholke, May 26, 2017
  • “Folio,” American Society of Landscape Architects, May 5, 2017
  • “Why Woodlawn is coming back strong,” Chicago Sun Times, Rahm Emanuel and Bill Eager, May 2, 2017

Chicago, IL

Project Principal
In 1982, Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA), an affordable housing developer, was founded to stabilize the Humboldt Park neighborhood and champion the housing interests of community residents.

Catherine and LBBA have been long-term partners with LUCHA in this advancement of housing and housing rights. In 1995, LBBA designed Humboldt Park Residence (HPR), the first new SRO building built in Chicago in over 50 years. Following the success of LBBA’ s original project, Catherine led sustainability and upgrade renovations a HPR. She also worked with LUCHA to conceive of and develop Madras Unidas, a scattered site project of three- and six-flat buildings for single mothers. Additionally, Catherine guided the multi-unit rehabilitation of the Borinquen Bella Apartments, including collaborating with LUCHA and preservationists to restore some of Chicago’s first community murals, which are painted on these buildings. Most recently, she designed Tierra Linda, a scattered-site housing project that features the first new multi-family Passive House built in Chicago.

In 2010, LUCHA was a collaborator with Catherine on shadeLab, the first of LBBA’s lab programs. That program, along with bikeLab in 2016, spearheaded LUCHA’s ongoing work with indoor air quality and healthy housing.
Humboldt Park Residence
completed 2022
68-unit single-room occupancy building
Rehab of new construction SRO with units that are compact and efficient, each containing a kitchenette and a bathroom. Renovation included updated mechanical systems, computer room and exercise room.
Tierra Linda
completed 2018
45 affordable apartments in 12 scattered-site buildings
Health and wellness oriented new construction development featuring the first multi-family Passive House in Chicago.
Borinquen Bella Apartments
completed 2013
47 affordable apartments, four 3-story buildings
Moderate rehabilitation focused on upgrading to energy and cost efficient HVAC equipment, kitchen and bathroom appliances, windows, insulation, and restoration of historic murals.
completed 2011
2 single-family homes
As a part of Chicago’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program two single-family affordable for-sale homes were fully rehabilitated.

Madres Unidas
completed 2004
36 affordable apartments in 11 new 3 flats and 6 flats
Lacking decent affordable housing in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, a group of mothers gathered together and requested assistance from LUCHA.

  • 2021 AIA Illinois, Capitol Award (Tierra Linda)
  • 2020 AIA HUD Secretary’s Award for Community Informed Design (Tierra Linda)
  • 2019 AIA Chicago, Distinguished Building Award (Tierra Linda)
  • 2013 US Green Building Council Illinois, Green Innovation for Occupant Engagement (airLab)
  • 2011 The Assocation of Architecture Organizations, Jury Special Recognition (shadeLab)

  • “Local affordable housing developer is first to build a multifamily Passive House,” Chicago Cityscape, Steven Vance, Oct 24, 2018
  • “Tierra Linda Brings Affordable Passive Housing to Chicago,” Passive House Institute U.S., eileen, June 28, 2018
  • “Architecture in 2018: Look to the streets, not the sky,” The Conversation, Sean Weiss, Jan 4, 2018
  • “Affordable Housing Developments Along the 606 Coming to Humbolt Park,” DNAinfo, Mina Bloom, April 4, 2017
  • “There are 12 buildings with 45 units of affordable housing that will be built on Humboldt Park’s 606 Footpath,” Univision, April 4, 2017
  • “A dozen units of affordable housing near 606 ready for construction,” Curbed Chicago, AJ LaTrace, March 29, 2017
  • “For Latino activists, transportation justice means factoring in immigration and gentrification,” Chicago Reader, John Greenfield, Nov 10, 2016
  • “Parks for All?,” The Architect’s Newspaper, Zach Mortice, June 8, 2015

Chicago, IL

Project Principal
LBBA  Labs is a locally- and nationally-recognized youth program that broadens design education beyond its traditional base to include those in challenged communities, empowering youth to better understand the forces that affect their lives while encouraging them to become active participants in the design of their communities.

Catherine conceived of, initiated and managed the program that was embedded within Landon Bone Baker Architects from 2010-2019. The program provided unique community outreach, collaborations, and supplied vital information to LBBA’s work. Student interviews and interactions with residents garnered valuable information that only someone familiar to the neighborhood could uncover. Not only did it provide meaningful information to LBBA, but the process gave ownership to ideas and an excitement about design thinking that many of the students had never had the opportunity to experience before. The model for the Labs program included a team of high school students and college-age mentors working on a real project within the office. Their work introduced them to topics related to social justice, such as zoning, density, accessibility, and equity. The Labs’ positive results have been twofold: they create a pathway to design fields for youth in Chicago who likely wouldn’t have access otherwise, while the students’ work dovetaled into LBBA projects both to inform and enhance projects.

BUILDLab partnered with BUILD to research common areas, art spaces, and other sensitive spaces such as the youth court and youth counseling spaces for BUILD’s expanding facility in the Chicago neighborhood of Austin. The team conducted site visits, interviewed building users and members of the community, and met with BUILD Board members and staff. BUILDLab students made design recommendations that address security and safety issues for the youth who attend programs at BUILD.

tinyLabs partnered with La Casa Norte and Pride Action Tank to research and prototype elements for a tiny house village planned for college students experiencing homelessness in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. The team conducted site visits, interviewed potential clients and members of the community, met with stakeholders and partners, and designed and built furniture mock-ups that addressed the functional and social needs of future tiny house residents.

cityLab 2017 partnered with Heartland Housing to investigate possible types of community spaces appropriate for a new supportive housing proposal within the redevelopment of the former Calhoun Elementary School. Over the course of the summer, the young designers developed an asset map of the surrounding East Garfield Park neighborhood and conducted interviews with community residents. The culminating presentation shared data and designs with community partner Heartland Housing and members of the community.
bikeLab partnered with LUCHA to develop a plan for making their Humboldt Park buildings more bike- and biker-friendly. Students interviewed LUCHA residents about their bike use, researched the neighborhood, visited bike shops, toured buildings with bike-centered design, and ultimately created an overall plan for integrating bike use into LUCHA buildings. Tierra Linda and Humboldt Park Residence have been designed with indoor bike racks per the recommendations.
cityLab 2015 partnered with Claretians Associates to investigate depopulation and vacant land issues in South Chicago. cityLab students conducted interviews and site assessments to make recommendations to Claretians Associates on land use opportunities. LBBA used the data found during cityLab to create their entry in the Chicago Architectural Biennial.
cityLab 2014 partnered with Brinshore Development to explore and investigate several problem areas at Villages of Westhaven. cityLab students made recommendations for the programming and design of the existing underutilized neighborhood park.
cityLab 2013 partnered with Holsten Development to explore and investigate several problem areas at Parkside of Oldtown. cityLab students studied pedestrian, bike and automobile traffic at the intersection of Division and Clybourn. The students also observed and recorded pedestrian activity in public spaces—ultimately making recommendations to LBBA for public space designs.
airLab 2.0 partnered with Bickerdike Redevelopment to continue the research started with airLab. Some unusual temperature and humidity data from the previous year suggested that airflow in the apartments may not be acting as intended. The students conducted a variety of tests and made recommendations for exhaust fan use.
airLab partnered with Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation to apply for and secure a grant from Enterprise Green Communities to investigate indoor air quality at the recently completed Rosa Parks Apartments. The students built air quality sensors and produced a brochure that gave residents vital information on harmful material used in cleaning products, building materials and furniture.
shadeLab partnered with LUCHA to investigate community wellness around the Borinquen Bella Apartments in Humboldt Park. The students collected data on trees and temperatures. Ultimately, their 3D model of the existing tree coverage in the neighborhood assisted LUCHA in requesting that the city plant several trees in front of their building.

  • 2020 AIA Diversity Recognition Program
  • 2013 USGBC Illinois, Green Innovation for OccupantEngagement (airLab)
  • 2011 The Association of Architecture Organizations, Jury Special Recognition

  • “Designing a Future of Hope,” Heartland Alliance, August 10, 2017
  • cityLab 2017: “No Loitering, no skateboarding, no baggy pants,” Curbed, Alexandra Lange, Dec 7, 2017
  • “Shadelab Summer Program,” Impact Design Hub, Aug 3, 2011

Westhaven Park
Chicago, IL 

Project Principal
In 2000, The Chicago Housing Authority began its Plan for Transformation program—a massive undertaking to “correct” its deplorable housing conditions by rehabbing or replacing over 25,000 housing units. Under the Plan for Transformation, Henry Horner Homes, a 1,656 unit housing project located in 16 high-rise and mid-rise towers was one of the first projects to be demolished and slated as a new HOPE VI mixed-income community. The project, developed in partnership by Brinshore and Michaels Development, was subsequently renamed Westhaven Park. The project is a multi-phased large-scale development with many stakeholders, including financing through multiple sources.

Westhaven Park IID
permitted 2022
96 mixed-income apartments
High-rise mixed-use transit oriented development building with retail space and affordable apartments.

Villages of Westhaven Park
completed 2019
200 mixed-income apartments
Rehabilitation of the 1996 CHA redevelopment of the former Henry Horner Homes. In addition to revising interior layouts, the buildings and site were update to meet current energy and accessibility requirements.

Westhaven Park IIC
completed 2010
92 mixed-income apartments
New construction of residential units distributed between three-and four-story buildings that are a mix of walk-ups, townhouses, and mid-rises.

Westhaven Park IIB
completed 2008
127 mixed-income apartments
The second phase of the Hope VI redevelopment of the former CHA Henry Horner Homes housing project. The mixed-income development is centered around a public space featuring wide sidewalks, enhanced landscaping and a community art project led by Architreasures.

Westhaven Park IIA
completed 2007
61 market-rate condos
These for-sale condominiums represent the ownership phase of the Westhaven Phase IIA development, focusing on affordability, accessibility and sustainability.

  • Phase IIC: “Last Project Standing,” University of Minnesota, Catherine Fennell, Nov 28, 2015
  • Phase IIA: “Even CHA makes the scene,” Chicago Tribune, Judith Nemes, Nov 7, 2007
  • Phase IIA: Two Tales of a City: Rebuilding Chicago’s Architectural and Social Landscape, 1986-2005, Northern Illinois University Press, Gail Satler, Aug. 28, 2006
  • Phase IIA: “Westhaven Park, Prairie Urbanism,” Zachary R. Borders, Ed., 2004