Lifestyle and Effects

Lifestyle and Effects

Situated on an eighteen-foot wide lot in Chicago’s Grand Crossing, a neighborhood notable for its rapid genesis from an open field into a dense, beautiful upper-middle-class neighborhood, this attached, narrow, masonry row house mirrored its apogee and decline. Luxurious and new at the time of the nearby Columbian Exposition, the building was four decades later chopped up into apartments during the Great Depression. A contractor recently restored its single occupancy but cut the rear of the building off from light and air. In his defense, the rear yard was not much to look at: a gravel and dirt pad. We set out to create an inside/outside space employing effects with light, color and material that would create a volume for family, community and mindfulness.

Working Model

Working Model

Here's the working model with the original idea for the table

 

View from Dining Room - Before

View from Dining Room - Before

The approach from Dining Room - After

The approach from Dining Room - After

Window with Sad Paper Curtains

Window with Sad Paper Curtains

This was the original window inside the enclosed back porch looking out to the yard, a.k.a. the dirt pad, if you can believe it.

The view out to the garden

The view out to the garden

Sustainable Architecture looks different because it performs differently. This  shot speaks volumes of the inside/outside effect in this home and entertainment space. While only 6 inches over 10 feet wide, the space is roomy yet fits like a glove. The light shelf bounces natural light deep into the space. A hopper window above the shelf assists with natural ventilation. The flooring and stone bench draw your eye from inside to outside creating a seamless space to watch the seasons unfold. We call it right sizing.

Millwork Wall

Millwork Wall

​We saved tens of thousands of dollars by specifying formaldehyde-free cabinet boxes from an online manufacturer and having the cabinet faces manufactured locally.

Window Detail

Window Detail

The window helps provide another 12" of counter space.

Fixed and Operable Light

Fixed and Operable Light

​The horizontal window opening extends the countertop in the 12" masonry wall and the vertical window is operable.

lightbox-table-new.jpg
Bench Detail

Bench Detail

​The bench passes effortlessly from inside to outside.

The South Side is Ms. Havisham

The South Side is Ms. Havisham

The ramshackle, one-story frame white enclosed porch on the right was ripped down and our addition replaced it, opening up the rear of the row house to the light and air. Note how the neighboring trees and garage are gone. If Chicago is personified by Algren as a woman with a broken nose, then the ruin that is much of the South Side is Ms. Havisham. Please keep in mind that her wedding with its grand festivities and lavish cake was scheduled for 1893.

Construction Photo

Construction Photo

Light-gauge metal framing going up. The light shelf was welded in place and braces the fame. It also bounces light deep into the room and allows for a clerestory window to be open while the terrace door is shut. "What's a terrace door?" you may ask. Shoot us an email and we are happy to explain the role and importance of a terrace door in Sustainability.

Exterior from North at Dusk

Exterior from North at Dusk

Existing and New Plans

Existing and New Plans

From left to right is displayed the existing and new construction plans for each of the floors. Note the 18 foot wide lot dimension that attests to the popularity and allure of Washington Park to the south and Drexel Boulevard to the east in 1884. Horseback riding was popular and Washington Park even had its own racetrack.