Site Size: 2,835 square feet

Project Size: 2,100 square feet

Program: Built in the 1870s, this two-story single family residence is located in an historic district of Chicago. Although exterior changes visible from the street are restricted by historic district guidelines, the clients wanted to remove a 1980s two-story addition in the rear yard and bring daylight through the interior spaces.

Solution: The architects gutted the interior and incorporated skylights into the two-story house. On the ground floor, the central volume accommodates a new stair, which stops half a level above the kitchen floor, creating a landing that extends to form the kitchen counter. A large south-facing living space opens onto the garden, providing natural light and views. The second story contains two bedrooms.

Structure and Materials: The architects replaced 50 percent of the existing brick and wood frame building, cladding the rest of the exterior with cedar siding. White oak countertops, cabinetry, and stairs complement burnished concrete floors.


Location: Chicago, Illinois

Completion Date: May 2009

Gross square footage: 2,100

Total construction cost: Withheld

Owner: Withheld

Wheeler Kearns Architects
343 South Dearborn, Suite 200
Chicago, IL  60604
312-939-7787 (Chris-Annmarie Spencer)

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record: Daniel Wheeler, FAIA (Partner in Charge), Chris-Annmarie Spencer (Project Architect- not licensed)

Interior designer: Owner and Sharlene Young, AIA Wheeler Kearns Architects

Engineer(s): Enspect Engineering

Landscape Design: Wheeler Kearns Architects

Low Voltage/Audio: Ensemble Custom Solutions

General contractor:  Fraser Construction

Owners Representative: MDM Development

Tony Soluri, Soluri Photography
Thomas Bader, Wheeler Kearns Architects
Monica Rosello

Renderer(s): Chris-Annmarie Spencer, Wheeler Kearns Architects

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autodesk Revit


Structural system
Wood framed; 50% of the existing building was replaced and plywood/wood framed shear walls added to the interior

Exterior cladding
Masonry: Brick Veneer w/ wood stud backup (Painted)

Wood: Cedar Siding w/ wood stud backup (Painted)

Tile/shingles: Asphalt Shingles; 70% of existing roof framing was replaced

Fixed: Douglas Fir (painted on exterior, natural on interior), Dynamic Architectural Windows & Doors

Awning Window: Douglas Fir (painted on exterior, natural on interior), Dynamic Architectural Windows & Doors

Existing Double Hung Windows: Wood

Glass: Double glazed IGU (Cardinal 272 w/ Low-E coating on surface #2)

Fixed Skylights: Velux

Lift-Sliding doors: Douglas Fir (painted on exterior, natural on interior), Dynamic Architectural Windows & Doors

Inswing Entry door: Douglas Fir (painted on exterior, natural on interior), Dynamic Architectural Windows & Doors

Existing Inswing Entry Doors (single and double door): Wood

Exterior Devices
Locksets: G-U Hardware, multi-point lockset; Finish: Brushed Nickel

Pulls: G-U Hardware, multi-point lockset. Hoppe handle with flush pull (Lift/Slide doors) and Bellissimo Collection – Trim series 4100 with Milan lever( In-swing door)

Exterior Devices
Locksets: G-U Hardware Brushed Nickel

Awning windows: G-H Hardware, folding handle roto-gear with limit arm

Interior Devices
Hinge: Rajack and Rixson

Pulls & Thumbturn: Custom and FSB

Security Devices
Siedle Intercom

Interior finishes
Ceilings: Gypsum board painted

Countertops (Kitchen): Rift white oak (solid), random lengths, street-shoe finish

Countertops (Bathrooms): Marble, Thassos

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Rift White Oak veneer (cabinet exterior), Maple veneer (cabinet interior)

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork (Bathrooms): White Oak veneer painted white (cabinet exterior), Maple veneer (cabinet interior)

Custom Kitchen: Stainless steel (brushed finish)- countertop, backsplash, upper and basement cabinets, integrated lighting, electrical outlets, dishwasher, range and hood

Custom Medicine Cabinets: Recessed medicine cabinet, maple veneer interior with stainless steel (brushed) channel holding mirror

Paints and stains: Clear, open grain lacquer, satin

Walls: Painted gypsum board

Floor: Burnished Concrete slab

Floor and wall tile (Bathrooms): Marble, Thassos tile 18” x 18”

Stairs: Rift white oak (solid), treads and risers, street-shoe finish

Handrail: Custom stainless steel (brush finish) handrail and posts

Carpet: Interface carpet tile

Glazing: ½” etched tempered glass (stair guard rail) and ½” laminated etched glass for laylights in bathrooms

Fireplace Surround (1st floor): Custom Stainless Steel (brushed) plate (1/8”)w/ custom William Jackson Co. metal rolling screen

Fireplace Surround & hearth(Master Bedroom): Custom Steel plate (1/8”) with “blued” finish; steel plate hearth (1/2”)

Dishwasher: Miele w/ custom stainless steel panel

Refrigerator /Freezer drawers: Sub-Zero w/ custom wood panels

Range: Five Star

Chairs: Saarinen executive arm chair with chrome legs; Tweed Frieze/2

Tables: Saarinen dining table  54’w white white laminate top and white base

Master Bed: Reve Bed, Niels Bendtsen

Sofa: Room and Board

Roller Shade: Mecho Shade

Rug: Tufenkian - Cloud Nine (Master Bedroom), Vintage rug from Eli Peer Oriental Rugs(first floor)

Pendant: Caravaggio

Downlights: Iris recessed downlights

Strip lighting: Bartco lighting

Stair lighting: Delta light

Exterior: Bega

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron

Kitchen Faucet: KWC Systema, Franke: Little butler instant hot/cold

Faucet: Dornbracht – Meta and Tara Classic

Thermostat/volume control: Dornbracht, Tara Classic

Toilet: Duravit-Stark 3 wall hung with Geberit actuator

Urinal: Toto

Sink: Happy D, Lacava- Aquagrande

Master sink: custom Thassos slab sink with Lacava p-trap

Showerhead: Waterworks

Tub: Kohler

Steam Shower: Mr Steam

Shower Drain: Zurn

Accessories: D-Line