Highland Park, IL
This design study was created for a new home on an undeveloped site with its own “forest”—a rarity in suburban Chicago. The premise of the design was to pursue a variety of progressive environmental systems while preserving as much of the native landscape as possible. The design for the home is an L shape which creates a private courtyard with the help of the garage. All living spaces wrap this space with an abundance of windows for views and natural daylighting. The noteworthy roof profile resembles two “high chairs.” They dually function as heat chimneys to naturally release summer heat and provide a surface for placing solar panels at the ideal angle.
The first-floor levels are set at two elevations to work with the existing grades while allowing the living room to “float” on piers in order to leave root zones undisturbed. The second floor features a sunroom, roof deck and green roof. The exterior is clad in metal panels, masonry and a vertical wood accent at the main elevation.
In addition to the solar system, environmentally progressive features include radiant heating and cooling, triple-pane glazing and super-insulated walls, roofs and floors.