The design of this home by Searl Lamaster Howe Architects was directly shaped by the challenges and opportunities afforded by the combination of two separate apartments in a high-rise near the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, each with exceptional lake and city views and generous outdoor spaces.
The living/dining areas, kitchen, bar, and study all open directly to the 900 square foot terrace. New openings were cut for sets of French doors that maximize the openness between inside and out. The grandiose scale of the terrace is broken down into three distinct zones. A circle of low lounge chairs sits outside the study. Opening off of the bar and kitchen are a collection of tables and chairs that can be spread out for large scale entertaining or clustered together for family style meals. The living/dining area extends outside at the south end of the terrace with a stunning view of the park below and the lake to the east.
At the opposite end of the apartment from the terrace is the master suite. Here too fixed common building elements resulted in distinctive spaces. Two former secondary bedrooms were refashioned into the master bedroom. While generously scaled the room is unusually proportioned, more than double in one direction than the other. That shape inspired the custom designed bed/bench/nightstand/ headboard/shelving assembly that floats in the center of the room. The west end of the bedroom is lined with closets hidden behind oak doors faced with randomly spaced battens.
Lacking any direct natural light, the master bath also demanded an unconventional design. Its pair of freestanding vanities, each outfitted with a ceiling hung mirror, sit behind a wall of glass. A concealed motorized shade is used when privacy is required. Otherwise the view remains open across the bedroom to the skyline beyond.
Photography : Kendall McCaugherty