This is an adaptive reuse for an 1889 Chicago building. It has been converted from an industrial use to a live/ work in the urban center of Chicago. The carbon footprint of this 3 person family home and 6 person office is relatively low with most transportation centered around the new CTA Green Line stop located just one block north.
We used energy efficient LED lighting on a lighting control system, hot water radiant heating from an ultra high efficiency boiler all running with supplementary air-conditioning controlled by smart thermostats. The orientation was maximized to use the neighboring EL tracks as a solar shading structure, with the west-facing facade containing no windows, except an internal courtyard, which brings subtle, indirect light deep into the floor plan. The land under the EL tracks has been leased under the Lawn and Garden program to add green space to this highly urban location.
This building was previously a shop for a masonry contractor in the South Loop neighborhood, where the making of masonry details for the historic buildings of Chicago took place. This use was discontinued in the mid ’80’s, removing electricity, water and gas services. The building became home to many transient people from the mid ’80’s to the fall of 2014 when we were fortunate to acquire the property for our future home and studio.
The vision was to make an urban home in the city of Chicago with a studio for our architecture office. My wife and I had been living in a timber loft just a few blocks away since 2007. This neighborhood is our home. We added to our family a new daughter and needed the space to grow and wanted the urban context and South Loop neighborhood to provide this.
The building is on the west property line and had an existing inverted bay window to allow light deeper into the floorplan, this was the driver to locate an exterior courtyard in this location. We removed the bay window, floor and roof, carving out a 180sf private exterior space that separates the guest space in front of the 2nd floor from the living/ dining space in the middle of the home.
We also pushed the entrance storefront 5ft off the sidewalk and installed a custom corten steel louvered pivot door to create a private, covered entry condition for the home and office off 24th street.