Richmond Street Worker Cottage

Richmond Street Worker Cottage

Architect
moss Design
Location
Chicago, IL, USA | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Private Houses
Tony Soluri Photography
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Plumbing FixturesGROHE
Plumbing FixturesHansgrohe SE
TilesCle Tile
TilesEmil America
Plumbing FixturesInfinity Drain
ManufacturersJuno

Product Spec Sheet
Plumbing Fixtures
by GROHE
Plumbing Fixtures
Tiles
Tiles
Plumbing Fixtures
Manufacturers
by Juno

Richmond Street Worker Cottage

moss Design as Architects

Historic Worker Cottage Saved From Demolition

Rather than demolishing a historic Worker Cottage, our renovation reimagines the humble cottage as a modern, light-filled, split level home with open living spaces, a master suite, and a connection to the backyard. Originally constructed as a single-story Worker Cottage with an attic above, the house endured many haphazard renovations. The program for our client was to modernize the home and add additional square footage while respecting and maintaining the traditional residential scale and street presence. We restored the front facade and split the main level so the public living space is at grade with easy access to the backyard. The first level has a guest suite that connects to the open kitchen/living space and the new master suite with balcony and additional bedrooms are located on the second level.

 

Preserving the Worker Cottage Character

True to our sustainable nature and desire to preserve the cottage aesthetic, we salvaged as much of the existing home as possible to maintain the style. By keeping most of the existing exterior structure, we could keep a wider footprint because one side of the building was built right on the property line. If we had demolished the house and started with a clean slate, we would not have been permitted to build directly on the lot line. The destruction and start new approach would have diminished interior space allotment, and we’re already pressed for space when working within the typical 25′ x 125′ Chicago lot size.

 

Updated Floor Plan & Connection to the Backyard

There are several benefits to split-level design that works well with this renovation , including loftier 12′ ceilings and an open layout in the main living spaces, a first-floor guest suite, and a bonus partial basement level for the laundry room. We kept the original floor configuration at the front to maintain the existing facade and connection to the front. The entry, guest room, and bathroom are located on the existing floor level. From there is where the ‘split’ begins. We installed a custom staircase and lowered the first floor to grade level in the back of the house. The living space of a typical Chicago home is elevated 2′-6’ above the ground plane. This creates several challenges when trying to connect to the outdoors, especially in the private backyard space. When the living space and yard are at the same level, it is easier to connect to the yard. After bringing the first floor down to grade, we removed a dated, unsightly rear porch and designed a spacious, light-filled kitchen, dining and family room space that opens up to the backyard.

 

Solar Orientation with Modern Dormers

The building had some strange integrated dormers “popped-up” onto the existing structure. When thinking about incorporating solar panels into the salvaged exterior, our solution was to keep the existing dormer locations and reconfigure the roof slope into a single slope towards the south. This approach has several advantages — sloping to the south optimized the roof for solar orientation; it simplified the roof framing/structure, and it is more naturally connected to the dormers of the traditional building form. Whenever our clients are ready to invest in a solar system, no further infrastructure is required for installation, except for the system hardware. Instead of cladding the end of the dormers in similar existing vinyl siding, we chose glazed walls to emphasize the dormers and provide additional light and views to the front. This elegant design solution creates a more spacious experience and a connection to the outdoors for anyone inside the dormer-clad room.

Read story in DeutschItalianoPortuguêsEspañol and Français

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
The Pitch by Mark Odom Studio repurposes shipping containers to form a vibrant new hub for Austin, Texas
6 Jul 2022 News
The Pitch by Mark Odom Studio repurposes shipping containers to form a vibrant new hub for Austin, Texas

Located in Austin, Texas, The Pitch is a new hospitality and entertainment complex made from shippin... More

Chalet D by monovolume architecture + design brings new life to alpine architecture
6 Jul 2022 News
Chalet D by monovolume architecture + design brings new life to alpine architecture

Located in the Austrian Alps, Chalet D is a family holiday home that includes a spa area. Modern and... More

The Natural Pavilion by DP6 architectuurstudio responds to key land-use challenges in the Netherlands
4 Jul 2022 News
The Natural Pavilion by DP6 architectuurstudio responds to key land-use challenges in the Netherlands

Designed for the Floriade 2022 Expo, The Natural Pavilion by DP6 architectuurstudio is a nearly 100%... More

Sonoma home by Mork-Ulnes Architects is defined by a strong concrete structural framework
4 Jul 2022 News
Sonoma home by Mork-Ulnes Architects is defined by a strong concrete structural framework

Overlooking the vineyards of California’s Sonoma landscape, the Frame House by Mork-Ulnes Arch... More

Top 10 Trending Tiles
4 Jul 2022 News
Top 10 Trending Tiles

From bathroom walls to flooring for living spaces, tiling provides a durable, easy-to-maintain finis... More

BIG unveils a playful, wooden, colourful factory for Vestre in the middle of the Norwegian woods
3 Jul 2022 News
BIG unveils a playful, wooden, colourful factory for Vestre in the middle of the Norwegian woods

In Manor, Norway, The Plus is a new furniture factory by BIG for furniture manufacturer Vestre. Inco... More

RH+architecture develop an intriguing urban infill strategy for a Paris neighbourhood
3 Jul 2022 News
RH+architecture develop an intriguing urban infill strategy for a Paris neighbourhood

In the 11th district of Paris, the architecture of the neighbourhood has a spontaneous feel characte... More

Poppodium Nieuwe Nor offers a new landmark and hub for new music in the Netherlands
29 Jun 2022 News
Poppodium Nieuwe Nor offers a new landmark and hub for new music in the Netherlands

  In the city center Of Heerlen, Poppodium Nieuwe Nor by diederendirrix is a unique new landma... More