Urban 24
Marty Peters

Urban 24

Studio Dwell Architects as Architects

Looking like a missing tooth, this project helped to complete a gap in the urban fabric of this intimate residential rowhouse street in Chicago. The row-houses were built in the 1890's, showing wear and demolition over the years. Infilling this small lot provided challenges for the new residence; to not disturb adjacent 100 year old structures, party wall encroachments and to respect the existing scale of the street.


The shoring of the adjacent structures and the house’s new foundations required complex design and construction, including a cantilevered concrete foundation wall to avoid interfering with the adjacent party wall footing. Current zoning allowed for a building two stories taller than the block. To keep in scale, floor levels and the front height of the residence were aligned with the adjacent houses.


The upper level is setback 16 feet making it difficult to read from street. Typical of row-houses, delivering light into a residence that only has two sources; front and back, required a revised design approach. The solution was to incorporate a combination of skylights, vertical open volumes and transparent walls and floors throughout, allowing natural light down through the residence. Staggering these stacked volumes not only provided a continual sustainably smart light source, but also provided intimate spaces.


Exposed white masonry interiors further aided in bouncing light inside. The created effect is that of a folded open residence that provides privacy when desired.

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