Wood House

Designing this Chicago residence was an exercise in creating privacy within an urban neighborhood while providing an abundance of open, bright space.

The first floor is defined by clear views from the landscape in front to the courtyard at back. The second floor has private spaces with northern and eastern light, appropriate for comfortable sleeping spaces. The third floor provides solitude for working and adjacent outdoor areas of repose that encompass views over the courtyard, the neighborhood, and to the city skyline. Together, they comprise a rational and inspiring response to basic needs of living, sleeping and working.

The house is organized in an ā€˜Lā€™. On the first floor, the living room is a two-story volume with a lay-light of patterned acrylic that filters natural daylight from the skylight above. Full-height windows and doors line the east and west sides of the room, creating seamlessness between indoors and out. The other leg of the ā€˜Lā€™ is a three-story volume along the north side of the property. Millwork boxes separate the first floor functions. Black granite defines the perimeter circulation, and blocks of end-grain walnut infill the center floor areas.

An elegant open riser stair is illuminated by natural light from a skylight above. It ascends to the privacy of the bedroom floor, which has a similar material palette to the first, but where the first floor is open and animated; the second floor is quiet and subdued.

The third floor houses a private study and guest suite. Each space has its own deck and green roof with views to the sky and courtyard below. The views, copper screens, connections to the exterior and careful detailing create a serene and distinctive environment.


Project Type


Chicago, Illinois, United States

Related links


  • Brininstool and Lynch