Mohawk House

Chicago, Illinois
Location
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • We were delighted to be asked by the owners of this new 8,000 square foot house to design a “minimal and abstract” building. To soften a prescribed box (mandated by the builder), a series of volumetric removals at multiple scales was undertaken: the back of the house was sliced (in plan) to create an angled glass plane oriented toward the southwestern sun; a volume was removed from the top floor to create an courtyard; and, smaller scale removals were developed such as extruding bricks on the front façade (visually removing material from the volume), removing bricks from the front fence, and perforating the main steel stair to allow light to trickle through the house from the courtyard on the top floor. The bond pattern of the brick façade consists of alternate bricks having their short sides (extruded headers) and long sides (stretchers) facing outwards, with alternate courses being offset. The brick pattern visually breaks apart the expansive front facade. A relatively introverted street facade (large windows with translucent shades) is contrasted by an extroverted all-glass facade on the back of the house. On the first floor, the kitchen, dining room, and living room are almost completely open to stimulate socialization. A grassy landscape connects outdoor and indoor spaces into a continuous 3D surface for a large family to live and play. This “hill” covers the garage with a small basketball/soccer field, and covers a subsurface gravel “sponge” that catches rainwater and protects the below grade living spaces from flooding.

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    Modern home with outdoor, front yard, and trees. Mohawk Street elevation facing east Photo  of Mohawk House

    Mohawk Street elevation facing east

    Modern home with outdoor, front yard, side yard, and trees. Entry facade and brick pattern "fade" Photo 2 of Mohawk House

    Entry facade and brick pattern "fade"

    Modern home with outdoor, large patio, porch, deck, wood patio, porch, deck, and back yard. Rear facade with deck entrance (from kitchen)  Photo 3 of Mohawk House

    Rear facade with deck entrance (from kitchen)

    Modern home with kitchen, stone counter, light hardwood floor, white cabinet, and recessed lighting. Kitchen and informal dining area, entry to exterior deck Photo 4 of Mohawk House

    Kitchen and informal dining area, entry to exterior deck

    Modern home with outdoor, back yard, slope, grass, large patio, porch, deck, horizontal fence, and wood fence. Play "mound" covers the garage.  Photo 5 of Mohawk House

    Play "mound" covers the garage.

    Modern home with staircase, metal tread, and metal railing. Main interior stair made of perforated, powder-coated steel.  Photo 6 of Mohawk House

    Main interior stair made of perforated, powder-coated steel.

    Modern home with kids room, playroom, concrete floor, and pre-teen age. Basement (half-underground) connects to exterior landscape via planted steps.  Photo 7 of Mohawk House

    Basement (half-underground) connects to exterior landscape via planted steps.

    Modern home with outdoor, garden, and gardens. Courtyard on top floor separates the master bedroom from master bathroom.  Photo 8 of Mohawk House

    Courtyard on top floor separates the master bedroom from master bathroom.

    Modern home with outdoor and front yard. Front entry facade extruded black brick pattern.  Photo 9 of Mohawk House

    Front entry facade extruded black brick pattern.

    Plans and (sectional) diagrams of house Photo 10 of Mohawk House modern home

    Plans and (sectional) diagrams of house