Orchard East / Wheeler Kearns Architects

Architects: Wheeler Kearns Architects
Location: Chicago, Illinois,
Client: Withheld
Construction: Norcon, Inc.
Structure: Thornton Tomasetti
Consulting Engineer: James Carpenter Design Associates
MEP Engineer: IBC Engineering
Interiors: Leslie Jones & Associates
Lighting: Charter Sills
Acoustics: Acoustic Expertise
Landscape Architects: McKay Landscape Architecture, Xavier Vendrell Studio
Completed: 2007
Photographs: Hedrich Blessing (Steve Hall, Jon Miller, Craig Dugan)

A broad, introverted, opaque volume of private spaces floats above a fully transparent, extroverted space at grade that extends, below the canopy of the volume above, into the garden.  This urban residence is a warm, intimate home for a family of four that can transform into a place of assembly as needed and has an integral connection between interior and exterior experiences.

Light and air courts, terminating in a series of reflecting pools, perforate the volume and extend vertically through the house to distribute reflected light, and activate the interior with rain and snow; further reinforcing the blurred boundaries of interior and exterior space.

A collaborative design process led to architectural and structural innovations that include vertically post-tensioned concrete thermal mass with forty foot cantilevers; pultruded fiberglass wide-flanges, filled with closed cell spray foam insulation, sheathed in aerated autoclaved concrete and pigmented cement stucco; thermally broken floor to ceiling glass curtain wall and sliding door system.

Cite: "Orchard East / Wheeler Kearns Architects" 02 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=20280>
  • Bo Lucky

    A simple house which likely doesn’t provide a good living conditions. The ground floor looks like a public library rather than a cozy family space. The second floor doesn’t seem to be well designed. For some reason, there is no picture of this floor(?) The bathrooms have no natural light/ventilation although it is easily achievable. Personally, I do not like structures where a huge and heavy mass stands on slim “sticks” and glass. It’s against the nature of things. Nice aesthetics though, but it’s not sufficient to make a good architecture.

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  • Edward May

    Got a personal tour of this house from one of the architects when I was a second year with the Rural Studio. We couldn’t go inside, but the outdoor spaces are pretty nice. Excellent use of concrete for the outdoor dining and gardening areas. A little extravagant for my taste, but still nice.

  • Marcus

    I think there are some good qualities about this house. However, it is not well implemented. The interior space needs a better layout and better composition.

  • Nick

    Nice paintings !

  • http://www.talkitect.com Lucas Gray

    I just don’t see anything unique or groundbreaking here. It seems like an average architect designed house. Better than some suburban development but not fantastic.

  • Christine

    How does the snow gain drained when it goes down those light shafts in the interior? Intertwining the exterior with the interior is an awesome idea by introducing light courts that cut through the house as cores is a great idea.

  • Christine again

    it’s definitely modern and seems very corbusier AND mies inspired

  • Daniel Con

    beautiful design but it looks better suited to be a museum and not a residence. Whats up with the floating letters??

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  • http://www.fereastradecor.ro Fereastra Decor

    nice futuristic design

  • http://www.vreau-termopane.ro Vreau Termopane

    design that combines beauty with utility

  • http://www.123termopane.ro Termopane Ploiesti

    A simple house that makes you feel the warmth of home