Aerial view shows the sisters' residence and guest homes. Photography: ©Brian Fritz

Sisters Religious Community

Northern Illinois

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Area: 105,000 square feet

Site & Program: The 12-acre site is located in a suburban residential neighborhood. This is a retirement community consisting of 75 private living units, administrative offices, dining and kitchen facilities, and a chapel in the residence plus 4 guest homes.

Design: This home for a congregation of sisters is modeled after traditional cloister planning. Resident rooms surround a landscaped courtyard that provides a secure outdoor living environment for an aging population. The chapel is a focus of daily life and is distinguished by its round form and prominent location.

The refectory containing dining and kitchen facilities closes the end of the courtyard.

Four one-story residences are located across the pond from the retirement home. The residences provide flexibility to the community over time. In the short term, they will provide additional housing for the sisters and their guests. In the long term, they may be sold as market-rate residences.

The unified architecture reinforces the sense of community across building types. The masonry bearing wall structures recall housing from the congregation’s native Holland.

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