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Historic Architectural Renovation Design


Chicago, IL

3,300 sf

Renovation + Addition

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The owners of this 1880s Italianate two-flat wanted to convert the property to a single-family home. The design intent was to preserve the facade in accordance with landmark regulations, renovate the interior, and add contemporary steel and glass space at the back to offer an escape from daily life. The addition is a two-story space evoking the typology of an orangery—a glass-enclosed conservatory common in England where the owners have lived.

The structure was unified by a three-story atrium with a steel and wood staircase connecting all floors. With large skylights, the atrium functions as a light well for lower floors. Steel catwalks bridge the front and rear of the home at the second and third levels.  

A unique element is an operable 17ft glass hangar door at the rear of the addition that can be opened to unify interior with exterior. A fire orb suspended in the double-height space rotates to the patio. On the roof, a landscaped terrace clad in ipe wood has city views and a private spa.

Sustainable elements include recycled materials, LED lighting, rainwater collection system, drought-tolerant plantings, high-efficiency mechanicals, solar hot water system, radiant floor heating, and infrastructure for future geothermal installation.

The design intent was to preserve the historic facade, renovate the interior, and add a contemporary, steel, and glass, two-story addition to offer an escape from daily life... read more

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