Filling the Gap
Like a missing tooth in a child mouth giving way for the new, this project served to help complete a gap in the urban fabric of this intimate residential street in the West Loop of Chicago.
The groups of row-houses were built in the 1890’s, some showing wear and some torn down over the years. Infilling this lot provided challenges for building new; to not disturb the physical structures of old row-houses and to respect the existing scale and street line.
The current zoning allowed for a building two stories taller than the existing row-houses on the block. To keep in scale, the new residence matched the existing row-house height on the front, while setting back the upper floor 16 feet so as not to be seen from the street.
Typical of row-houses, delivering light into a residence that only has two sources-its front and back, required and new design approach.
The solution was to incorporate a combination of skylights, vertical open rooms and transparent walls and floors throughout, allowing natural light to dance down through the residence. Staggering these open rooms not only provided a continual light source but maintained an intimate scale for the spaces.
Exposed white masonry interiors aided in bouncing light and blurred the lines from exterior to interior spaces.