SKYLIGHT HOUSE

Chicago, Illinois

 

This modernist brick home built in 1979 stands in playful contrast to its neighboring historic row homes. The new owners wanted a total renovation with an open floor plan filled with natural light as well as a new third floor addition with a master suite, spa-like bathroom, and sundeck. Program requirements included five bedrooms, contemporary kitchen, children’s play space, media room and ample space for art.

 

The objective of new design becomes clear upon entry to the home–capturing sunlight. Unique for a city lot, the footprint of the house repeatedly steps back from the south property line, forgoing square-footage for views of the sun and sky. To maximize use of space, every inch was carefully considered. For example, standard 5-inch thick walls were reduced to 1/2-inch frosted glass between the master bathroom and hallway.

 

The design completely reimagines the interior. Circulation is organized around a three-story atrium capped with a pyramidal skylight, flooding the interior with natural light. A sculptural steel and wood staircase is suspended in the atrium, and a custom chandelier, engineered to hang from the skylight, floats in the full height of the space. Tracy Hickman curated the calming interior furnishings.

 

The open-plan design emphasizes clear sight lines from front to back. dSPACE designed walnut cabinetry unifies the home and is detailed to conceal everyday necessities such as TV, pantry, desk, and a wardrobe in the master bedroom.

 

Sustainable design elements include a green roof, high efficiency mechanicals, durable finishes, new thermal building envelope, and energy efficient LED lighting throughout.

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