This enclave of forty-eight distinctive homes provided the unique opportunity to create a whole new neighborhood within Old Irving Park, one of Chicago’s most treasured historic communities. Significant challenges included the complicated modification of the existing Planned Development zoning which required contextually sensitive, traditional homes with antiquated floor plans - unlike the flexible open plan, and contemporary aesthetic largely preferred by today’s urban dwellers. In the new plan, homes are thoughtfully arranged within an engaging and interactive environment that includes a tree-lined street and sidewalks that curve through the site alongside a centrally located park. Individual lots with wide, welcoming porches, landscaped front and back yards, private fencing, and two car detached garages - largely accessed via alleys - promote ownership and create a sense of community that remains fluid with the surrounding neighborhood. The design of the individual homes stylishly reinterprets the traditional image of a house, taking cues from modern influences and detailing with peaked roof forms and comfortably scaled windows. The distilled, crisp aesthetic continues on the interior with open floor plans tailored to efficiency and adaptability to a variety of lifestyles while levels of separation and privacy allow for smart functionality. Layouts feature a loft-like first floor with abundant natural lighting, cathedral ceiling and open living, dining and kitchen areas, three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the second floor, and finished lower level with family room and spare bedroom. A sophisticated neutral color palette lends to the refined appearance throughout the interior spaces.
Basecamp SFH reflects mindful planning and careful consideration of environmental impact. Situated on built land, on a four acre site that formerly housed a factory that had been sitting vacant for decades, the project was inherently sustainable and offered many opportunities to further integrate green features in the design. The opportunity to reuse old materials, conserve resources and reduce the burden on landfills, was proactively embraced at the onset of the project. After demolition, most of the existing structure’s concrete foundations and floor slabs were sifted, crushed and recycled for use as stone backfire under the streets and homes of the new development. Design elements that were integrated throughout included extensive private and public landscaped open space, high-efficiency American Standard or equivalent Energy Star furnaces with air conditioning and humidifier, Energy Star appliances, Nest programmable digital thermostats, dual flush toilets, and low VOC paints. The simplified, traditional form of the homes allowed the majority to be built using a prefabricated wall panel system with prefabricated floor and roof trusses. This reduced the job site waste and construction time allowing the homes to be closed up faster thereby leading to less exposure to moisture during construction. In addition prefabricated systems allow for framing optimization and quality control.
The site is located on a major street artery, Milwaukee Avenue on Chicago’s northwest side. The site is adjacent to the Grayland Metra stop which travels to downtown Chicago in 24 minutes. There are bus stops directly in front of the project and a new dedicated bike lane along Milwaukee Avenue which extends to downtown Chicago. It is a 10 minute walk to shopping and entertainment. There are 96 off street parking spaces, 2 parking spaces per home. In addition there are 48 unassigned street parking spaces. The Walkscore rating is 81.
This project as a Residential Development was exempt from the Stormwater Management Ordinance. However, we provided design measures to improve the stormwater management. The site in a pre-development condition was nearly 100% impervious. The project reduced the existing impervious area by about 60,000 CF. This allowed promotion of water infiltration into the soil and reduction of the site runoff by about 20%. We also provided Green Alley. It included installation of about 1,100 SF of permeable concrete that allowed storm runoff to infiltrate into a stone base below the alley pavement. This allowed additional reduction of stormwater runoff and promoted ground infiltration. Lastly, each catch basins within the site was equipped with a restrictor, to allow for ponding of stormwater on the street pavement and to further reduce the stormwater runoff and potential surcharge of the sewer and flooding of downstream properties.
Hardi Plank, smooth siding is the main home cladding choice for durability.