Jewish Council for Youth Services

Chicago, Illinois

Jewish Council for Youth Services was looking to build a new ground-up daycare center to address the growing need for childcare in the northwest neighborhoods of Chicago.  Operating as a non-profit, the organization runs several daycare centers that feature generous need-based scholarships as well as summer camps for children with developmental disabilities.  Given their mission, they wanted a partner who understood the importance of providing a great design that met their budget.  OKW teamed with Summit Design Build to provide full design and construction services.

JCYS expressed preference for a building that was both modern and inviting.  The building is clad in natural materials: slate shingles, cast stone, and wood-look tile were used judiciously in effort to prioritize the North Avenue frontage.

One of the most important aspects of the building design was to provide interesting vantage points to the primary building users - children.  The design features a playful arrangement of child-height windows; lowered colorful soffits bring down the scale of the corridor at each classroom entrance and also introduce a form of child-friendly wayfinding.          


I still get chills when I pull up in front of the building.
— John Thomason, Executive Director