Contemporary renovations and beautiful, modern residential architecture

Contemporary renovations and beautiful, modern residential architecture

Bill Nye on Climate Change

Bill Nye was recently on Bloomberg and CBS delivering a powerful message. 

Why isn't the United States the world leader on man-made climate change?

What does that have to do with you how you live and what you build?

How can makeArchitecture foster positive change?

How can we help you move all of us in the right direction?

Ask us!

Richard Neutra's Ann and Donald Brown House

Richard Neutra was regarded as one of the star students of his class in Vienna at the Institute of Technology and, like his classmate Rudolf Schindler, emigrated to Chicago. Neutra lived in the Chicago suburb Highland Park commuting downtown on the UP-N to work at a large firm designing hotels. He later followed Schindler to Los Angeles and the rest is history.

Neutra's work, like Schindler's and Mies's, owes much to Wright. This house in Washington D.C. has planes that project beyond the ribbon band of windows much like Mies's Farnsworth House. I think it can be argued that the house makes your experience of the seasons better than if you were outside. What do you think?


The house has a public and private side and does not reveal everything at once. Here's the approach.

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Wright's Malcolm Willey House

Wright's Malcolm Willey House of 1934 was an attempt to create compelling, low-cost Architecture in the throes of the Great Depresssion. The house is a bridge between his earlier Prairie style work and his later Usonian houses.

What's a Usonian house? Wright used the word Usonia to describe his Jeffersonian vision of a decentralized United States. (James Duff law penned the term in 1903 to better distinguish the country between Canada and Mexico.) Wright eliminates elements like gutters and standard footing depths in an attempt to cut costs and make the home available to a wider audience. Wright borrowed a technique of  from Wisconsin farmers where he poured the slab on a bed of gravel in order to keeping the ground under the foundation dry and less prone to frost heaving. This saves on excavation and waste and is a method which should be considered in some form today as we reduce the amount of construction debris trucked to landfills.

What make this home appealing? Wright was expert at taking a motif, one the five types of details, and then transforms it from a small ornamental detail into a compelling building plan and engaging spatial experience. Wright's other contribution to 20th century architecture was making the enclosure and the structure one. The trellis has a V profile and is made from cypress. The V profile gives it a structural integrity and a visual elegance and clarity. It is also a profile that Wright employed in his gutters and eaves.

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 Approach is private much like the traditional way a house fronts the street in Japan

Approach is private much like the traditional way a house fronts the street in Japan

 Wright uses bands to express the volume he creates and draw your eye.

Wright uses bands to express the volume he creates and draw your eye.

 Furniture and Architecture are one. Mies, perhaps his greatest heir, approached them as separate disciplines. Note the clerestory window that lights the ceiling.

Furniture and Architecture are one. Mies, perhaps his greatest heir, approached them as separate disciplines. Note the clerestory window that lights the ceiling.

 Wright rotates the grid for the landscaping.

Wright rotates the grid for the landscaping.

 View of the trellis from the interior of the house. Wright creates an inside/outside volume with the cypress beams.

View of the trellis from the interior of the house. Wright creates an inside/outside volume with the cypress beams.


Kahn's Fisher House–Furniture rooted & attached like Architecture

One of the more intriguing takeaways from Louis Kahn's Fisher House is the relationship between Architecture and Furniture. Generally the two are separate disciplines: Architecture is rooted and expresses its gravitas whereas Furniture is mobile and lightweight. Kahn designs a built-in window seat that blurs the line between the two.


 The Approach

The Approach


 Louis Kahn's Sketch of the formal elevation that looks out over the view

Louis Kahn's Sketch of the formal elevation that looks out over the view

 The window seat. The TV is the dissonant detail! Ha! Not really but it's interesting to see what people do. The drawing below illustrates the original window seat design that has legs that extend to the floor.

The window seat. The TV is the dissonant detail! Ha! Not really but it's interesting to see what people do. The drawing below illustrates the original window seat design that has legs that extend to the floor.

 Edward Ford's incisive axonometric of the window seat.

Edward Ford's incisive axonometric of the window seat.

Eames and Mies

We love learning new things and get a big thrill when we are exposed to something new especially when we foolishly believe that we are already familiar with the ALL of the material. Yes, humble pie can be gratifying when is comes with a heaping of broadened perspective. (For the record, I'll never turn down pie as long as it is gluten-free.)

We are planning the latest iteration of Messy Mies. Our exhibit plays with size and scale, effect and detail, strategy and tectonics and the relationship between Furniture and Architecture. While not trendy, these concepts and categories are ripe for interpretation and expression. Being curious, we looked around for material on other Mies exhibits. We were literally floored by what we found.

The Mies exhibit at MoMA in the fall of 1947 is legendary. We had no idea that it Charles Eames authored a review of it for Arts and Architecture magazine. His handling of it, both the written review and the non-verbal engagement of it expressed in the photography, is pretty extraordinary. See the photo spread below.

 Arts and Architecture December 1947 (Source: Chicago Public Library)

Arts and Architecture December 1947 (Source: Chicago Public Library)

 

There are understandable misconceptions that Mies was an overtly political figure or pushed a social agenda. This extends to Mies being mistaken as being an engineer in the guise of an Architect. Recently the prestigious Dutch Architecture firm Robbrecht en Daem architecten researched and constructed the unbuilt Krefeld Golf Club. The surviving drawings were 1 to 100 or 1 to 50 metric. (Brussels is 1 to 200 metric.) The Architects did a beautiful job and were rightfully proud of the pavilion as it sat gorgeously in the Dutch countryside. One of the claims they made was quite baffling. Mies's surviving design drawings are at such a small scale as to make the exact detail of Mies's signature cross column come into question. There isn't enough information to figure out its thickness or the exact profile. The Architects claimed that they were able to gauge the profile dimensions by calculating the axial load place upon it. Therefore, they knew its size. And, by the way, it was the same square profile as used by Mies in Barcelona.

Really?

 What's holding up the roof?

What's holding up the roof?

First, Mies seemed to have wandered from the square-edged column by 1932. Second, Mies was not an engineer. Yes, his work expressed structure but that does not make it the truth or his work the product of equations. His work exhibits much more subtlety and sophistication than that. For example, the columns in the Barcelona Pavilion have been described by the English critic Robin Evans as "flashes of light." The four steel angles that make up the column are covered in a chrome-plated, now polished-stainless-steel, jacket that can be thought of as a dissonant detail. In fact, the Barcelona column is at its most persuasive when it disappears and it is unclear as to what, if anything, it is supporting. Most Miesians think of his details as fitting into one of two categories: the joint and the referential detail. The first expresses how two things are connected stripped of everything superfluous and the latter expresses something that cannot be shown directly because of exigencies like building codes. "Almost nothing" can be applied to both. The reality of construction is far messier than the canonical texts give credit. Furthermore the variety of possible categories of detailing found in Mies's work is much larger.

Edward Ford says that there a five basic types of details. The implications of this on Miesian historiographies and criticism is large and one we are pursuing in a forthcoming book. In the meantime, we think that Eames understood Mies and we all are the better for it.

 A sample of Eames's written work on Mies.

A sample of Eames's written work on Mies.



Today's urban condition is an ecosystem rather than a monoculture or single use one.

 Saturday night at Balmoral and Ravenswood.

Saturday night at Balmoral and Ravenswood.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but what does it mean?

This picture in particular is very revealing.

Why?

A busy intersection in the heart of a metropolitan area of nine and a half million residents with... deer?

Yes, they are cuddly and cute but that's not the point. What should we take away from this one?

Mixture and ecosystems.

What is meant by that?

Today's urban condition is an ecosystem rather than a monoculture or single use one. Uses are shared depending on the time of day and season. Sounds simple but that's a very radical idea. (Just ask the folks down at Zoning or the facilities VP at DePaul who would not even consider the food truck idea at their Fullerton Parking Lot.)

Shared ecosystems are at the heart of what sustainability is. It's gonna be an uphill climb to change our single-use Zoning ordinances to reflect this reality. The Super Bikeway is a product of this thinking. What ideas do you have?

Here's a section of the Super Bikeway with the added deer.

The City is a ecosystem of shared uses organized by time of day and season.




An example of what to do with abandoned condo structures

 This was torn down after we offered the bank a fair amount. We could have reused a bit of the existing structure and kept it out of landfills.

This was torn down after we offered the bank a fair amount. We could have reused a bit of the existing structure and kept it out of landfills.

This cookie cutter condo development got a foundation and then a single story before it was foreclosed upon. What to do with it? Tear it down and throw it the debris in a landfill? Why not make it a live/work space and put the front lawn on the roof? Note the tree. 

Here's before, after and a closeup of the rain garden. Please let us know what you think.

We like Daniel Burnham but think Saul Bellow is more relevant

 Saul Bellow signing copies of  Humboldt's Gift

Saul Bellow signing copies of Humboldt's Gift

"Make no small plans for they have no passion to stir men's blood."

The famous Chicago architect named Daniel Burnham said this and we love him. It's a great approach but it's not always what our clients need.

"He was a first rate noticer."

That's how Saul Bellow describes Charlie Citrine, the protagonist in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Humboldt's Gift. It is also one of our favorite books. In order to observe you need to have what the ancient Greeks called sympátheia. It is the ability to look at the look at things from another's point of view. That's why a a good architect asks a lot of questions and doesn't shoot from the hip. The silent genius of Mies van der Rohe is an unproductive example for a student or young architect to follow. Better is someone like Philip Johnson who engaged people or  Rem Koolhaas who today has assumed his mantle of being the most influential architect in the  world. They both are known for their conversations.

The architect Glenn Murcutt has said that the process begins by asking the question, "How do you want to live?" He then observes everything in sight and interviews all of the principals involved.

How do you want to live?

Here's Bellow reading from Humboldt's Gift at the 92nd Street Y in New York in 1988.

 

Vision– Why You Hire an Architect

Vision - One of the Reasons You Hire an Architect

A really smart, savvy and successful couple, who had, as far as I know, never worked with an architect before, moved into a 2 flat. They said they were thinking about turning it into a single family home. They "needed time to figure out how to envision the space." I wanted to answer them, but I did not think it was my place. I did though, on the behalf of my sometimes misunderstood profession, want to address it a later time because I do not think we architects have done a very good job demonstrating our value and/or showing that we are uniquely suited to make a positive contribution to such an endeavor. Here it is:

I think that one of the most productive and, ultimately, attractive qualities of a good architect is vision. What do I mean by vision? I ask you to look at the before and after photo below.

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That's the same red wall and the same camera location. (The bathroom door on the left was flipped.) This 1880s row house was a bit of a diamond in the rough. The rear of the house (the elevation with the refrigerator in the top or before photo) is a blank wall. The transformation speaks for itself. The new is, well, completely that. Open and bright, it creates an inside/outside space that is small in stature but an essay in volume. Is this something the client saw? No, but the client described the lifestyle and qualities they desired. After observing them in their home and engaging these issues, we worked together to come up with this solution.

Henry Ford was once asked about his inspiration for the Model T. Was the first mass-produced automobile something his customers had asked for? “No,” he replied, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

A good Architect sees the opportunities that are hidden in plain sight. This vision can be a productive and profitable aid in your design and construction project. Isn't that why you hire an architect?

If the Andersonville Water Tower will no longer hold water, then...

 This is an example in Brooklyn overlooking the Manhattan Bridge.

This is an example in Brooklyn overlooking the Manhattan Bridge.

The big news here in Andersonville has been winter's toll on the landmark Andersonville Water Tower. The Water Tower froze, leaked and was removed recently.

There's  a fundraising campaign we support to reinstate it.

But if it will no longer hold water, then what about making it a light box?

Envision a glowing jewel on the nighttime skyline.

What do you think?

Why choose makeArchitecture over the competition?

 Invitation for the AIA Small Projects Awards party on May 9th in Chicago.  Link here

Invitation for the AIA Small Projects Awards party on May 9th in Chicago. Link here

First, Vitruvius–portrayed in the Lego movie–thought that Architecture shared a conceptual framework with Rhetoric. There's a speaker who needs to persuade or move an audience. But the audience should have something in common with speaker to start with. Let's begin there...

You, dear reader, like or LOVE design and think Chicago is a fascinating place for Architecture. Think of all the history here. First, the building technology invented here: balloon frame construction, the caisson foundation and the skyscraper. Second, think of what FL Wright accomplished. He designed houses conceptually around the experience of moving through space rather than how the house looked in a static elevation, a drawing convention divorced from reality. He introduced effects from Japanese landscape into buildings and created volume from Sullivan's figures on a field, aka ornament. They were radical innovations, all of them. While we are neither Wright, nor geniuses, we at makeArchitecture, like a good chef, can help you engage your life in an Architectural manner by asking the question, "How do I want to live?" Architecture should be a relevant, rewarding and affordable part of your life.

There are ways to make Architecture within a budget. That's important. Yes, design costs money but it need not break the bank and we can offer advice that can save tens of thousands of dollars. For instance, the cabinets in the LightBox (pictured above) came in at $50,000. This was almost a third of the project's budget. We figured out a way to do it for less than a third of that. We even specified formaldehyde-free core boxes.

The indirect lighting creates dramatic effect with inexpensive fluorescent fixtures connected to sophisticated dimmers. The integration of lighting into the Architecture is an approach we think  is worthy of the Chicago way. 

 Integrated Architecture can save material and expense

Integrated Architecture can save material and expense

We also do our own structural engineering on our residential work. We can integrate structure, envelope and material to save money and create breathtaking effects like the light shelf pictured above. It has four functions: reflector of light deep into the interior, gusset that braces the structural frame of the building. the top of the terrace door frame and creates the clerestory window that can be kept open to naturally ventilate the building. Thus we can find solutions that others cannot because they are not comfortable with integration of form and function.

We can do structures, materials and colors. We understand how things are built and can help find the expert craftsman to realize our vision AND be transparent about how much things cost. Running a construction management program showed us how the sausage is made and we can share this knowledge with you. Yes, you Those are a few of the advantages of working with makeArchitecture.

Our Favorite 2 Flat Gut Rehab was not designed by us

 The front bay transformed

The front bay transformed

Here's a photo or two of our favorite 2 flat gut rehab. The interior walls were removed and the focus has been turned towards a garden to the west. The 2nd floor floats on the west and north (street elevation) side. There's a feeling of openness on the first floor and, interestingly a real sense of mystery leading to the second floor private spaces. 2 flats are generally very ho-hum experiences. This one is not!

Check out the second floor hallway floor detail. It allows light and air to pass through further emphasizing the connected nature of the building. Yes, it is connected but it also acts like a screen and makes the trip upstairs special. What do you think?

    Here's one that we did that isn't as radical as the above as it has rooms on the first floor. It does have a formal dining room and share plumbing stacks which save money.   

 

Here's one that we did that isn't as radical as the above as it has rooms on the first floor. It does have a formal dining room and share plumbing stacks which save money.

 

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 Demo plan on the left and the construction plan on the right.

Demo plan on the left and the construction plan on the right.

Chicago Building Code, Lesson One–Get Registered

The Chicago Building Code, a heavy, ponderous two-volume tome that, if you are not careful, can weigh on you like the 4 1/2 pounds that it is. This is the sort of reading that  inspires fear deep into the heart of many, professional and civilian. (Remember reading Moby Dick in high school? You know, the endless chapter on fishing gear? Sorta' like that except that not understanding and obeying it can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and headache.) In fact, a whole industry of advisors has grown up around interpreting it and assisting the uninitiated. Fear not! We will dip our toes into the water and move forward together. 

A few years back, one of our beloved clients sold his 14 story, 1920s masonry apartment building to a large private equity firm for a published price of $57 million. Yes, we were astonished by the price, too. There was some work to be done on the building and we were just getting started. Changing the owner name on the permit was the first order of business. We quickly discovered something about the firm that had recently issued a $500 million bond to buy "investment grade" apartment buildings. (I can only imagine the regulatory paperwork involved in that.) The firm, like many of us, did its homework but was missing one small thing: The firm was NOT registered with the City of Chicago.

 The reaction we don't recommend. Yes, we can help!

The reaction we don't recommend. Yes, we can help!

Mon dieu! What is the meaning of this! (Sounds better if said with the accent belonging to one of the characters of Ratatouille. See above.)

A good place to begin is Chapter 13-28, REGISTRATION FOR BUILDING WORK

"Every person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of constructing, altering, repairing, removing, or demolishing the whole of any part of buildings or structures, or the appurtenances (sic.) thereto in the city, shall before undertaking the erection, enlargement, alteration, repair, removal or demolition of any building structure, for which permits are required by this Code, register the name and address of such person, firm or corporation in a book kept the Executive Director and used for this purpose. In the case of a firm or corporation, the names of each individual comprising the firm and the names of each officer of a corporation shall so be registered." 

I just love that word "appurtenances." I have no idea what it means but it sounds serious! My new private equity firm client, whom had spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to incorporate and issue the bond, had never registered with the City of Chicago. So they asked me to do it. And it went well. The lesson here I offer people is that even a well-financed and prepared private equity firm doing business in the City of Chicago is in need of help when it comes to the City's code. My advice is to talk to a seasoned professional and let him or her guide you through the process. Like in the movie Ratatouille where a rat makes amazing food, judging a book by its cover (with it concomitant terror) is not always productive.

If you have questions about the Chicago Building Code, please send us an email.

 

Less, but BETTER (Updated)

We recently had two interviews with families about their houses. We really like both families: great people, savvy professionals, strong parents and good neighbors.

When it came to their existing buildings, one in the suburbs and the other in the city, the approach could not have been more different. The suburban family had lived in Japan and were in awe of Japanese land use and design. In that context, they thought their four bedroom house was actually too big. They had certain goals and dreams for their home. They were still open to making it bigger to achieve what they wanted but sticking with the same size or even making it smaller, they thought, was a reasonable approach.

The city family bought a row house and automatically wanted to make it bigger. "We know what we want and it's bigger."

"Why?" I asked.

"It's not big enough." They replied.

Compared to what? I thought. From their description, they wanted to make a loft space out an historic row house. Why not buy a loft instead? It would be cheaper, for starters, I thought.

We were challenged by both responses.

We found one to be more thoughtful and more in line with what we do than the other. (Look at our projects the House for the Dinner Party or the LightBox for confirmation.) This approach borrowed from Japan may fly in the face of what our culture values but the Japanese are today's sustainable leaders. The Japanese live beautifully in spaces that many Americans would initially reject but I think could learn and borrow a great deal from. It's foremost about quality over quantity. There is no Japanese expression for "Supersize me!" There's only the Americanism.

Please have a look at Columbia University's Vishaan Chakrabarti's talk (above) on land use and real estate in the United States. He compares Japan's tightly knit farm communities with the spread out, Jeffersonian ideal of the isolated farm houses surrounded by open fields. Which has a smaller carbon footprint? Which fosters more effective communities?

makeArchitecture believes that, sometimes, less, but BETTER can be a more productive strategy in answering the question:

"How do you want to live?"

Name *
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Oversharing and the importance of Architect's Role at Construction Project Inception

There's an old adage in the Construction Industry:

You can tell how well a project was designed and executed by the size of the change order binder.

What does that mean?

That means, that a well-planned and executed project has few changes. Where does this begin?

It begins with the relationship between the Architect and the Client.

You gotta OVERSHARE at the start of the process!

Some new clients underestimate the importance of the Architect and his/her expertise in the project delivery process. Their "blueprints" are a "necessary evil" toward the "real" work of construction.

How?

We had a café client. She came to us AFTER signing an agreement for a commercial space without understanding how the Zoning or Building Permit process worked. (It is not the one with the zinc bar and the beautiful birch featured on the website.) The space was formerly a hair salon. She had been advised on a budget and had settled on this number. Changing the use to a cafe required bringing everything up to code including ADA and electrical.  (For instance, she was unaware that a 400 amp service was typical for the loads she was running. The existing was a 200 amp service.) She had not negotiated this into the lease and was on the hook for the whole thing. What was the solution? To hire the architect in the pre-leasing phase and negotiate any contingencies into the lease. If the owner balks, then the client understands that they maybe exposed to more work than they can afford or have time for.

nursinghome.jpg

In another case, we worked on a nursing home. The owner had worked with a large architecture firm and came to the table with a detailed set of drawings that were contrary to code. He told me that they had been rejected by the Village Building Authority. The client insisted that they the plans were sound. I took deep breath, smiled and then spent an hour with the client explaining why they were rejected. He was still skeptical. We made a conference call with the Building Official and he was able to convince the client that they needed to be rethought as you could no longer use a drop ceiling as a forced air plenum to heat patient rooms.

Once we got to that point, the project went smoothly. We got out our ductulator and went to work. (Have you ever seen one? Everyone should have one!!!!) The client got their loan and the building's HVAC system was brought up to code with our help.

ductulator.jpg

 

Getting the advice of an expert architect is something that should happen sooner in a project than later as it can save time, money and make construction a more satisfying and happier process. A happy satisfied client is what we are all after. Next time, we will talk more about change orders that happen after a set of drawings has been approved and tactics and strategies that can help reduce and minimize them.

Integrated Design Offers You Better Value, Performance and Aesthetics

modern-millwork-box-constr-1500px.jpg

Integrated design offers you better value, performance and aesthetics.

How EXACTLY can it serve you better?

Let's take the LightBox.

It looks simple, but there's much going on. We had a $160,000 budget. Storage was lacking and we created a wall of cabinets. The wall of cabinets was going to be floor-to-ceiling with a space at the top for art work. I sent them out for bid and the lowest was about $50,000 or a third of our budget. There was no way that this was going to work. (When FL Wright designed the Darwin Martin house compound in Buffalo, New York, he was given a budget of $170,000. He advised his client to build the pergola, garage and the green house first. Wright had the contractor finish them and returned to the client with the message, "We finished the garage, pergola and the greenhouse. It's beautiful! But we spent the whole $170,000. Should we stop or will you give us more money to begin construction of the new house?" What was poor Darwin Martin left to do?)

What to do?

Abandon the storage wall?

Go to Home Depot and buy something shamefully ugly that is full of added formaldehyde?

No, we had another option that was both affordable and sustainable.

We got formaldehyde-free-core boxes from one of our favorite sources and had the doors locally made. $7000 for the boxes, $6000 for the doors and another $2000 for the installation brings a grand total of $15,000. 

We think it looks great.

Next, the addition is within the fire limits. What does that mean? As you recall we had a fire once in Chicago and this experience molded our building code. You cannot have unprotected combustible construction less than 6 feet from the property line. In fact one of our exterior walls was 2 feet from the property at the Zoning setback. It therefore had to be 3 hour non-combustible. Wood frame was out of the question, masonry involved bringing in a trade that we wanted to be without. The millworker building the job was well-versed in light gauge metal frame construction. The metal studs are generally screwed together. These connections are less than rigid and, in fact, rotate quite freely. When I pulled up to the jobsite in the Honda Fit to inspect the progress of the framing, the contractor would greet me standing on the dais. He would place one hand on the vertical wall of framing and the other rock the whole building back and forth like it was tall blade of grass.

"Hey William, who's your structural engineer?" 

Umm. I was.

"Just wait." I replied. "When the light shelf is welded in place, it will be the gusset that braces the frame on the east elevation. You will no longer be able to do that."

"Sure." He replied skeptically. Little did he know that Jerry, the Man of Steel, would soon be at the job site welding the light shelf into place. 

What's a light shelf?

integrated-diagram.jpg

It bounces light deep into the interior making it bright and wonderful. The illumination is more uniform and falls off more gradually. The top and bottom surfaces are reflective. The space above the shelf has a clerestory window that can be kept open when the terrace door below is locked and the shade pulled down. The shelf's third function is structural. The outward swinging terrace door can be kept open during a rain. That's a four-for-one!

Also, we are BPI (Building Performance Institute) certified. What does that mean? We are an expert on building envelopes. We can tell you how leaky or, hopefully, not leaky, your building enclosure is. We can advise you on hazards like mold and lead paint. We can draw from our academic and professional backgrounds and create a forward-looking strategy to make a environment that is free of contaminants like lead, asbestos and mold. A healthy environment is what we want and makeArchitecture can help with.

Performance and value work together.  That's the advantage of working with makeArchitecture.

Why we are committing to Active House

You can find us listed on the Active House website now. The Dutch skylight maker Velux is behind this important and exciting new way of making inspired, small-batch, high-performance spaces. We are looking to start a movement!

We at makeArchitecture love Design and think that the baseline begins with a rigorous Sustainability that is integrated with the design from the start. That's why we are committing to Active House. What do we mean? Please look at the two examples. The one immediately below has an inverted hip roof that collects rainwater and it dramatically falls through an opening in the roof from full view of the kitchen window. The commercial and residential space in Logan Square incorporates an existing reinforced concrete foundation leftover from an unfinished condo building. How much carbon did we save from reusing the foundation? Stay tuned for more...

The RADAR.

The RADAR is the basis for measuring the performance of a building using Active House.

 

ARMITAGE-HOUSE-FINAL-front.jpg

We think that Active House is a better sustainable choice because it gives credence to the fact that our dwellings are more than the sum of technical requirements or a checklist. It is an integrated system that takes daylighting, design and a low carbon footprint with equal concern. A great deal more to follow. Please stay tuned...

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Idea for Transforming a Lincoln Park Rowhouse Kitchen from the mundane into Something Spectacular

 Lincoln Park Rowhouse. Note the rather underwhelming frame addition with skylights that was added in the 1980s. Our idea for maximizing the inside/outside spaces can catalyze today's modern lifestyles. The light shelf reflect natural daylight deep into the space. The high clerestory window enables the stack effect for natural ventilation. The courtyard can harvest reflect light, heat a fluid on the roof that is transported to the deck base and used as radiant heat to make it a three season space. 

Lincoln Park Rowhouse. Note the rather underwhelming frame addition with skylights that was added in the 1980s. Our idea for maximizing the inside/outside spaces can catalyze today's modern lifestyles. The light shelf reflect natural daylight deep into the space. The high clerestory window enables the stack effect for natural ventilation. The courtyard can harvest reflect light, heat a fluid on the roof that is transported to the deck base and used as radiant heat to make it a three season space. 

I am sharing this idea for transforming a Lincoln Park rowhouse kitchen from the mundane into something spectacular. Please have a look and we welcome questions and comments.