In Chicago’s East Village, on a lot next to a south-facing alley, the Cut Triplex townhouse balances privacy and openness, maximizing the narrow but deep property to carve out a light-filled 5,300 square foot residence. The design of the house centers around different qualities of light. The clients, a young family of four, wanted to take advantage of the open space of the alleyway while simultaneously retaining a sense of privacy. Behind the monolithic black manganese brick facade lies an inviting and light interior. From the front of the house, which is entered from a poured concrete stoop, an open strip of glass travels up to the second floor, wrapping around its 60-foot long south facade, and to the back where it flows down into the backyard terrace. This long ribbon of natural light is framed by a projecting fin of richlite, a highly durable and versatile eco-friendly paper-based fiber composite, that extends equally to the exterior and interior of the house to emphasize the insertion and provide shading.
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