W. Grace Street, Chicago, IL.
new multifamily mixed use development in Chicago’s Lakeview
neighborhood is a departure from the typical city “6-flat”. The lot
was zoned for a type of business use that allows residential units
above the first floor. Its corner location meant that the project
could benefit from relief provided by the Zoning Ordinance from the
usual front and side yard setback. To maximize the potential of the
lot and corresponding profit potential of the development, the first
floor- which used the largest allowable footprint of land, providing
only a minimal service corridor on the north- was developed
exclusively for small commercial storefronts. The primary storefronts
face Southport Avenue on the east and were targeted for retail use.
Smaller storefronts for professional offices face Grace Street to the
Grace Street is also the location of the main door to the six 1555 sq.
ft. condominiums above. Locating the entrance here divides the overall
area of the residential floor into two equal and nearly square areas.
This results in unit plans (2 per floor) with natural light and
ventilation from three sides and very little hallway area. Each unit
has two bedrooms and two full baths with a third bedroom/study area
that results from the gained floor area normally devoted to internal
corridors. A final planning strategy was implemented by setting back
the body of the building behind the storefront area. (This shift is
more readily seen from the Grace Street elevation.) This results in
large, continuous deck areas for the lower residential units- which
are formed by the roofs of the garage and storefronts- and a covered
access walk to the garages.
building mass is modulated and articulated to support the several
ways of experiencing the building. The regular rhythm of stone piers
alternating with glass at the ground floor mimics the traditional
urban rhythms of a commercial city street. The large mass of the
condominiums is divided in two by the common stair; each half is
dressed with sloping parapet walls that mirror the gable roofs behind.
The tall piers recall typical “6-flat” front porch styling, and large,
French doored openings with Juliet balconies simply and effectively
articulate the main facades.