Association of Licensed Architects – Silver Award Winner

A Safe Haven Veteran Village Affordable Housing Project Named Silver Award Winner For Architectural Design By The Association of Licensed Architects

Chicago, IL (October 1, 2018)- The Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) held their 2018 Design Awards Dinner, on October 1, 2018, at the Drury Lane in Oak Brook, IL.  A Safe Haven Veteran Village Affordable Veterans Housing Architectural Team and Development Team were honored with the Prestigious 2018 Silver Winner Award for Architectural Design. A Safe Haven Veteran Village, stunning housing located in Melrose Park Illinois, for Military Veterans and their families, was a team project with the esteemed architectural firm, UrbanWorks. It was chosen as a Silver Award Winner among over 100 nominations by a panel of five distinguished architects. The project will be featured in ALA’s magazine, Licensed Architect, placed on display for the awards presentations, and on the ALA website.

“We were honored to be chosen by leading Design Professionals as the Silver Winner Award recipients for A Safe Haven Veteran Village in Melrose Park. Serving as the Real Estate Developer with UrbanWorks and all of our wonderful partners on this project, to create a contemporary design for Military Veterans and families from the community to enjoy, is a privilege and treasure. This real team effort included Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico, Peter LaPorte of West Suburban Housing Development Corporation, IDHA, Skender Construction, West Lake Hospital, LISC, Cook County, and MB Financial. I’d also like to thank all stakeholders in the community who worked together to take formerly vacant land and convert it into something special, useful, and transformative,” said Neli Vazquez Rowland, President and Co-Founder of A Safe Haven Foundation. 

“I am extremely proud of A Safe Haven Veteran Village, an architectural award-winning project and true example of repurposing vacant land for the greater good,” stated Mayor Ron Serpico.

“As the architect and design team, it was wonderful to help bring the vision and the purpose of this unique project to fruition on behalf of our client, A Safe Haven Foundation.  We were proud of our team’s hands-on effort to ensure that the A Safe Haven brand, known for quality and affordability, with a long-standing tradition of investing in impoverished communities, and mission of serving as a catalyst and as a beacon of hope and inspiration for people in need of quality affordable housing; especially on behalf of our military Veterans, was represented and delivered.  The acknowledgement and recognition by our peers and distinguished leaders in the Architectural community, on behalf of this project, is truly an honor for all of us on the team and a testament to the fact that the important work that we do, as Architects, on behalf of creating great and high quality living spaces for every member of society on the economic spectrum, is valued.”  – Patricia Saldana Natke, FAIA, Founder & President of UrbanWorks, Ltd

Bold, contemporary forms mark these 35 units of family housing in the Village of Melrose Park, Illinois. Each building design serves the specific needs of Veterans, with abundant daylight as a key feature. A boxy brick, wood and glass front provides a contrast to an overall gabled form that relates to the predominant neighboring housing type. The dual forms of the exterior provide a theme for the overall composition of the house-defined and undefined spaces, visible and hidden security-all of which speak to the complex redefinition issues that returning Veterans face in American society.