This two family house on the north side of Chicago consisted of two nearly identical two bedroom flats with a 70's era rear extension.
Conceived of in phases, the initial project was to renovate the kitchen on the first floor, opening it out into the dining room and removing an awkward hallway termination while bringing a window into the kitchen that had previously been in an adjacent closet.
The second phase will be to combine and open up the separate entryways. This was accomplished by removing two inner doors and the walls surrounding an existing stair. The new proposed opening is then supported with a finished wood frame and lattice work, recalling both the original plaster/lathe construction and the design of Japanese screens. The double height atrium and skylight provides a focal point and allows light to reach the once dark entry hall. In order to improve the thermal performance of the house, we are stripping the plaster at the front facade, adding an air barrier, and additional insulation.
The third phase removes the rear extension to make room for a new four story stair that connects all levels, provides storage, space for a greenhouse, outdoor space, and a family mud room. The scale of the new addition allows more access to the small rear yard, while creating a passive house like envelope that takes advantage of the southern exposure.
The fourth phase completes the transformation of the building into a single family home by converting the second floor kitchen into a new primary bedroom suite, with private access to the balcony. This phase also includes the transformation of the second floor dining room into a library and office.