[b]Chicago’s urban lots are a very peculiar site where to build a house. This project takes the opportunity to design a home with an internal four dimensional experience.[/b]
When we read the brief we started to think about an image that, as you said, looked contemporary and reminded at the same time the neighbourhood traditional architecture.
The idea is to reduce the frontal shape of the house to a pure form, a silhouette that develops unpredictably inside the lot.
Our initial concern about the allocation of spaces was the potential relationship between inside and outside. Given the request of 3 different open air spaces (Porch, Rear Deck and Roof Deck), we planned the house starting from them and the facing rooms, avoiding to connect directly an open space and a very private space, like a bedroom.
Like most homes in Chicago, the first floor is raised from the ground level. This allows to balance the privacy of the internal space from the road and for the basement to get natural light.
The first floor is formed by a large family room with dining and living spaces separated from the stairs, a large kitchen with breakfast table, mudroom, a lavatory and a walk in pantry.
The front porch is accessible from the living room while the rear deck from the kitchen. Both external spaces can be an interactive extension of the interior thanks to the large windows provided.
On the second floor you can find the master suite with walk in closet and master bathroom, two bedrooms with a walk in closet each, a common bathroom, the laundry and the office/nursery with access to the roof deck.
In the basement we propose different uses for the large space: a game room, gym area, a laboratory / hobby room and a storage. We integrated also a ramp of stairs towards the back garden, that can be used as secondary entrance.
[b]Form and Materials[/b]
To realize this interesting shape timber would be definitely the appropriate structural material, for the precision achievable with laser cut.
Each of the “portals” looks very light, but their closeness would allow the structure to be strong with few intermediate elements.
The basement and lower walls should use CMU blocks and brickwork as a finish.
The upper part of the walls has been designed to implement a wooden board finish, preferably not painted.
The roof should contrast with the rest of the house and use a dark tone. The primary idea is the use of metal roofing system that can be combined in composite panels with insulation integrated. Another solution can be asphalt shingles. Both systems can be adapted to the shape.
[b]The intention is to generate an unique and unusual image generated by the combination of tones and finishes of these four materials, Timber, Brickwork, Wooden boards and Metal/Asphalt roof.[/b]
Form and Construction[/b]
If you are concerned about a higher cost for such peculiar shape, you shouldn’t. New technologies allow easily to provide suppliers and sub contractors the information to produce all the pieces with high level precision, containing the costs.