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Collection by Ian Spula

A Modern Addition in Chicago Retrofits an Office Building for Living

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Architect John Ronan recast a former office building as a private home in a fast-evolving Chicago railroad corridor.

In Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, a one-story bowstring commercial building was adapted and extended vertically as a loft residence by architect John Ronan for a photographer/artist couple. The existing structure was hollowed out for living space and a two-pronged studio, and bedrooms were hoisted into a three-story volume clad in metal siding with a scattershot of windows. The vertical massing preserves a healthy share of the site for courtyard—a seasonal extension of living space.

Appearing almost as a glowing container stack, the corrugated aluminum addition relates to the low-lying structure’s...
“We had to talk John into doing this project,” says Dave Jordano.
The gated courtyard was conceived in halves: a slightly sunken sandbox-like patio and a miniature green space.
A new skylight regulates the living room’s natural light.
Saturation demarcates the line between the primary living space and kitchen in the existing open-plan structure.
In the newly built media room, lower ceilings and natural wood flooring make for a straightforward character shift.
The master bedroom with walk-in closet, on the addition’s second level, leads out to a garage-top deck overlooking the...
Ann Sacks and American Olean porcelain tile cover every square inch of the master bathroom.
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