Architects: Vladimir Radutny Architects
- Area: 14000 ft²
- Year: 2019
Photographs:JC Buck, Mike Schwartz
Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Archisesto, Benjamin Moore, Difiniti, James Hardie, McNichols, Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp., Thermory, Trimble Navigation
- Design Team: Vladimir Radutny, Fanny Hothan, Ryan Sarros
- Clients: Ranquist and Spartan Development Groups
- Construction: MC Construction Group
- City: Chicago
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. The 2016 West Rice residences are located in the heart of one of Chicago’s oldest established neighborhoods, Ukrainian Village. Comprised of 4 uniquely configured duplexes with 4 single-story units stacked above, this 8 unit residential typology is a design response to our client’s requirement to maximize the site’s buildable area. The building is organized as a small community of individual dwelling units wrapped in one contiguous skin. Unlike a single-family home, each residence is designed with at least three distinct orientations and an abundance of outdoor space, maximizing daylight and cross breezes throughout the day.
The outward appearance of this project is a direct result of the strategic interior planning, with two large cubic voids defining large terraces on the second floor. In these voids, the articulated steel balconies and stairs are nested, echoing Chicago’s infamous fire escapes and adding visual relief at the SE and NW corners of the site.
Large, punched window openings in the building’s corrugated metal skin appear more as perforations within the overall mass, perceptively reducing the building scale amongst its fellow neighbors. Selected for its reflective qualities, the exterior cladding produces a dynamic play of light and shadow across the façades, highlighting atmospheric changes brought forth by the seasons and throughout the day.
In an attempt to mark its place in time, this multi-family building demonstrates a progressive stance and spatial opportunities contemporary architecture can offer for its inhabitants and the neighborhood that it resides within. In doing so we are optimistic that projects such as 2016 Rice Street will elevate the bar for future small-scale developments, promoting higher design standards at all residential work within our city’s fabric.