Date of Submission

Spring 5-4-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Primary Advisor

Giovanni Loreto


In the late 1800s, the technological advancements of the Industrial Revolution created a new typology of architecture, the high-rise. Through architecture, people could truly live and interact with one another in clouds, while experiencing breathtaking views of the world around. To accommodate the urbanization of cites, architects and urban planners adopted the concept of vertical living within the social housing sectors. Ambitious desires towards desirable, vertical living became undermined by poor construction and problematic living conditions. Built in deprived areas and isolated locations, these experiments of social housing became a concentration of poverty, crime, and violence. Dysfunctional social environments resorted into damaged property, condemned elevators, and barred windows became a physiological prison to the people inside. The city of Chicago hosts numerous examples of these design failures. Projects like Cabrini-Green, Stateway Gardens, Taylor Homes, etc., embodied the dangers of social housing and demolition ultimately became the only answer.

The following thesis explores the rehabilitation of social housing in Chicago, using strategies of collectivism at a vertical scale. The concept of collectivism is a synthesis between the communal aspects of a community and ideals of a self-sufficient dwelling. Successful social housing can be achieved spatially through investigating how communal spaces can be shared by the dwellers in a community, while maintaining their private and personal domain. To define such a solution for Chicago, design criteria, such as the city's historical and futuristic conditions, affordability, building tectonics, and program which focuses on the physical and mental needs of the residents, are researched. As the world's population continues to increase exponentially, social housing has become a necessity to resolve issue of density and land scarcity. As architects, we must adapt social housing into a vertical typology, while relating back to the neighboring context and the city as a whole.