When it was time for HAJI business owner, Aya Nikole-Cook, to find a new location in the Southside of Chicago – she decided to become part of a brand new mixed-use development where a former public housing site had been demolished in the early 2000s. Located on Cottage Grove Avenue, a major connection in the Bronzeville neighborhood, HAJI found 1,800 square feet to advance its vision – a radically healthy community. This space is a commitment to that endeavor.
The approach to this project was how to make two storefronts with very different programs feel integrated and connected while keeping their privacy. With minimum openings across the partition wall and inspired in greenhouse shapes, two structures create a sense of continuity and provide secondary interior spaces for more private activities. On the one side, the main program is the Herbal and Botanical Apothecary, a store offering a wealth of health and wellness products by local and small vendors; this space also includes the booking and intake services for clients seeking to learn or schedule wellness services or treatment such as acupuncture, reiki, sound healing, aromatherapy, among others. On the other side, the main program is a flexible space that can accommodate a wide range of activities - yoga, group healing sessions, and community gatherings, such as HAJI’s signature supper club.