Category: Residential
Location: Chicago, IL
Size: 4600 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: Project Total: 1652 Cu FT Cladding:1154pcs, 4214SF Split face:3029SF Paving:238pcs Int Floor:110SF.
Submitted by: Wheeler Kearns Architects

Project Description

Building's form is derived from owner's desire for expansive views to the park and lake, and a comfortable house. The owner did not want a huge house and only built what he needed. The corner lot in an urban residential neighborhood is across from a midrise, where it is the norm to max out square footages and volume. Yet the owner chose to build only what he needs, approximately 1/3 of the maximum allowable building square footage per Zoning.

The building's form consists of two solid masses, a plinth anchoring the house to its site, and a sculptural volume rising from the plinth oriented towards the park and lake beyond. A 1-1/2 story space, consisting of the Living and Dining Rooms, connects the plinth and sculptural volume. The Living room's East façade, a full width bay window, provides sweeping views of the park and brings the outside in. Bedroom floors by contrast are introverted. High window sills directs views upwards through the adjacent tree canopies, using the foliage as an additional layer to envelope the house's private functions.

The building's concept is reinforced through different applications of the same domestic oolitic limestone on the 2 solid masses. To emphasize weight, mass and its earthen relationship, the stepped plinth volume is laid-up load-bearing & split-faced. Similar to a carrot, carving the plinth reveals its ubiquitous material throughout. By contrast, the sculptural volume has a taut, honed exterior skin, employing the same limestone as rain-screen.

Sustainable measures were the highest priorities for the owner. An innovative pultruded fiberglass support system was developed for supporting the rain-screen stone cladding to minimize thermal bridging within the exterior wall assembly. Other benefits for the pultruded furring members in addition to its low thermal conductivity included additional depth for the insulation, corrosion/rot resistant, high strength, light weight, electro-magnetic transparency, and dimensional stability.

Other sustainable measures include passive solar strategies such as elongated east-west layout maximizing passive solar gain, incorporating brise-soleil to shade west-facing windows from high angle summer sun/admission of low angle winter sun, the use of the stair well for stack effect, and continuous out-sulated thermal mass within the building envelope to restrict the impact of diurnal temperature variations and to further reduce peak heating and cooling loads. Active sustainable strategies include solar thermal panels, geothermal wells for heating, and rainwater harvesting for irrigation.

In addition to the laid-up plinth and rain screen, the same limestone was also used as exterior paving and interior flooring. Four different applications in three finishes total. The design process for the rain-screen included a planned pattern of varying sizes to create a fabric-like texture to add warmth, setting drawings identifying every panel, dry laid all 4 elevations at the fabrication plant for blending varying colors and marking characteristics, minimized waste by incorporating smaller pieces into the pattern and by utilizing cut-offs for the laid-up plinth, and last but not least, attention to details throughout the installation process.

Project Participants

Architect / Designer's Name: Sharlene Young
Company: Wheeler Kearns Architects
Phone: (312) 939-7787

Structural Engineer' s Name: Jesus Perez
Company: C.E. Anderson & Associates
Phone: (312) 492-4775

General Contractor's Name: Woody Aberson
Company: Sylvester Construction Services, Inc.
Phone: (773) 281-6094

Masonry Contractor's Name: Chris Brugioni
Company: Lake Forest Masonry
Phone: (847) 234-6820

Masonry Supplier's Name: Kent Barnow
Company: US Stones Industries, LLC
Phone: (913) 529-4154

Name: Peter J Gergel
Company: Stone Arch Consulting, LTD
Phone: (708) 692-8102

Name: Charles Jones, P.E
Company: JKI Engineering Inc
Phone: (812) 275-0026