Rise Training Academy

Location: Auburn Gresham, Chicago
Client: Rise Training Academy
Scope: Architecture
Progress/Year: 2022 - In Progress

Rise Training Academy, a Black-owned, AAPI-owned, and woman-owned small business situated in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood, is embarking on the transformation of a historically significant one-story masonry building into a dynamic community hub. Founded by Victor Murrell and Lotta Yanong, Rise Training aims to be a leading source of cultural education on the South Side, promoting health and wellness through martial arts, dance, and fitness programs catering to all age groups. The design emphasizes accessibility, safety, and flexibility, integrating art into the public realm while accommodating various community needs. Reflecting the commitment to celebrating local culture, Rise Training's programs, such as Capoeira and Samba dance, resonate with the predominantly African-American community in Auburn Gresham. Sustainability is upheld through the repurposing of the existing building, energy-efficient systems, and a flexible infrastructure approach. The architectural design, characterized by a new front façade storefront, expansive wall openings, skylights, and a mural by a neighborhood artist, transforms the once opaque structure into an inviting space that mirrors the neighborhood's character. Rise Training's community-oriented approach extends to active street frontages, clear windows for vitality, and signage contributing to the local identity. With its emphasis on fostering a strong sense of place and meeting diverse community needs, Rise Training Academy is not only revitalizing a physical space but also enriching the cultural and social fabric of Auburn Gresham.