Divine Detail in Chicago's Lincoln Park
The house riffs on a standard suburban center hall colonial. The basic proportions and window placement come from that origin but, of course, the house is not at all a center hall colonial. The space inside is open. The stairs loosely organize the living, dining and kitchen areas and everything is unenclosed. The interior designer, suggested the horizontal rail around the space and the ceilings are almost fifteen feet tall to allow the biggest art to breathe. The stair that modulates space on the ground floor of the house is based on the stair Mies van der Rohe designed for the Arts Club of Chicago.
Some of the exterior detailing draws from the Edgar Miller designed houses from the 1920’s and 1930’s that pepper this Lincoln Park neighborhood. The iron farden wall detail curls are an Irish symbol for good luck and a wink at the curly hair of the owner. The east balcony has a Jean Prouve circular pattern water jet cut into the plate steel. The pattern is manipulated along the leading edge of the balcony to suggest the phases of the moon and those cutouts are projected onto the face of the brick in the morning.
The glass and steel canopy over the front entrance has enigmatic ampersand characters cut into the steel much like the character George Elliot in EM Forster’s novel, “A Room with a View”.