Erica Blawat on May 19, 2021

Modern River Cottage

Updated April 2022

This custom-designed home takes full advantage of its unique site.  Located along a forested portion of the Chicago River, the home offers urban convenience with an unexpected landscape.  From the street, a discrete entrance provides privacy and evokes a storybook charm, while the rear and river-facing sides of the home open up to a double height living space with floor-to ceiling windows framing the tree-lined riverfront views.  

This dramatic view, as well as the use of interior and exterior balconies, interior windows, and a welcoming terrace, blur the lines between interior and exterior.  A generous rooftop deck further blends indoor and outdoor spaces, offering panoramic views of the city and the dramatic skyline beyond.  

The stucco and siding exterior combines traditional forms with modern details to create a classic, timeless aesthetic with a refined vintage charm.  The interior of the home compliments these refined details and traditional materials of the exterior with similar detailing and the use of natural wood and stone finishes.  We look forward to seeing the remaining interior details and finishes come together as construction nears completion at this stunning, unique home. 

The design and planning approach for this project included several zoning relief triumphs, By taking advantage of multiple elements of the previous structure footprint, BBA successfully navigated the zoning to maximize the building envelope. The property is also within the jurisdiction of the Chicago Water Reclamation District, which had a voice in the building placement. Creatively positioning new components was essential to maximizing the potential on a lot with these overlapping jurisdictions. 

During the multi-stage permit process, the owners took advantage of the extra time by utilizing a deconstruction process of the existing structure. All of the lumber and other products were reused or recycled, saving a dozen or more dumpsters from ending up in a land-fill. 

To learn more about the deconstruction process in general see our article on this topic here.