Dwell : A Gut Renovation in the Iconic Marina City TowersNovember 4, 2015
A Gut Renovation for a Retro Chicago Apartment in the Iconic Marina City Towers
The twin towers of Marina City, designed by modernist master Bertrand Goldberg, are closing in on landmark protection-something most Chicagoans probably assumed they already had. When Jean Dufresne of Space Architects + Planners embarked on a gut renovation of a Loop- and lake-facing two-bedroom unit for a new owner. The space presented as it did upon the towers' completion in 1964: shag carpeting, a mint green bathroom, metal cabinets, and laminate counters being the currency of the day. "It all sounds cool and retro, but it had not been maintained," says Dufresne. "The view, now that was amazing." The client, a single dad, wanted an exhilarating space that fully capitalized on that vantage point.
Chicago Eater : A Tour of The VigOctober 16, 2015
A Tour of The Vig, An Atypical Old Town Sports Bar
The owner of The Vig wants to target an older crowd, one that's graduated from some of the typical sports bars that line Old Town. Ryan Marks left Big Onion Tavern Group saying that his heart wasn't in it anymore, that he wanted to diverge from his friends' path, a path that included bars like Fatpour Tap Works and Woodie's Flat, the latter which is just few doors down from the Vig. The Vig is an ambitious space with 27-foot ceilings, an homage to sports gambling with photos of icons including banned baseball player Pete Rose and mafia boss Arnold Rothstein.
Besides his experiences with Big Onion, Marks spent a big chunk of time with the J. Alexander's restaurant chain, and was in charge of the now-shuttered Lincoln Park location on Clybourn. The time was a heavy influence for Marks, affecting how he sees customer service. For example, he won't call staff who check IDs "bouncers." Marks prefers the term "goodwill ambassadors . . .
Chicago Architecture : South Loop's Newest Residential BuildingSeptember 28, 2015
South Loop's Newest Residential Building Now Under Construction
It's not a massive starchitect statement on Grant Park, or even a more modest 48-story swank skyscraper on Michigan Avenue. But it does have one advantage over those larger South Loop projects — this one is actually under construction.
Construction of a new residential building called South Wells Place at 837 South Wells Street is now underway, and South Loop Spy James sent in pictures of the construction. When completed it will be a four-story building with 42 residences above ground-floor retail space. It will also have 42 parking spaces . . .
Qualified Remodeler: Master Design Awards Siegel ResidenceSeptember 22, 2015
Whole House $300,000-$700,000 Gold Award: Siegel Residence
A stuffy, outdated 1956 apartment within a landmark Mies van der Rohe designed building in Chicago was completely demolished and redesigned to accommodate a new owner. By taking the 2,100 sq. ft. unit down to its studs and chases, the clients and the designers, SPACE Architects and Planners of Chicago, saw a unique opportunity to reconnect the unit to a Miesian style and vernacular.
With a ribbon of floor-to-ceiling glazing on two sides of the apartment, the decision was made to enclose the building systems in place and use sliding doors to open private spaces to public ones. The new master bedroom now opens on the main living space for the home. Meanwhile secondary bedrooms were reconfigured to make way for a much larger kitchen with east facing views of Lake Michigan. In the end, the space was radically reconfigured and recalls the iconic Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., and truly connects back to the master who is credited with being the first to say "less is more" . . .
Qualified Remodeler : Master Design Awards Everman LoftsSeptember 22, 2015
Light Commercial Gold Award: Everman Lofts
This 12,700 sq. ft. rehabilitation project returned the exterior to its former glory and converted this historic church structure into 11 dwelling units. It also restored the former clergy house at the church's rear. Unit configurations worked around the symmetry of the original building exterior and openings in an effort to not impact the envelope. Exterior renovation included repairing and restoring the decorative stained glass windows along with installing new windows to match at the ground level, previously filled with glass block. The roofing, decorative metalwork and masonry all were repaired to honor the architectural heritage of the original church structure . . .
DNA Info : Half Acre's Plan For Huge BreweryAugust 20, 2015
Half Acre's Plan For Huge Brewery, Restaurant in Bowmanville Gets Approved
Remember Half Acre's plan for a new brewery, taproom, beer garden and restaurant in Bowmanville? It's finally moving forward.
The expanding Half Acre got the OK from the Plan Commission Thursday to open the new brewery at 2050 W. Balmoral Ave., which will operate "in addition to and in unison with" the existing location at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave.
The new location will, however, be considered Half Acre's "flagship," according to Sara Barnes, an attorney for the state's fifth-largest brewery . . .
Curbed : New Condos on their way to Wells StreetAugust 10, 2015
New Condos on Their Way to Wells Street in the South Loop
A row of new residences are set to take over a South Loop surface parking lot along Wells Street. The project's developer has recently received the go-ahead to start construction on a new four-story complex at 837 S. Wells St. that will bring 42 residences and 42 parking spaces to the area. When the news of the deal first broke last October, there was some uncertainty of whether the units would be rentals or condominiums, but some development watchers believe that the project will deliver condos. An older rendering reveals that the development will be a long masonry structure with tall windows and balconies for each unit. If the units are not apartments, the project will deliver some very rare new condos in the South Loop and in the greater downtown area . . .
Arch Daily : 6 Ways to Repurpose the Chicago Spire "Hole"March 29, 2015
6 Ways to Repurpose the Chicago Spire "Hole"
With Santiago Calatrava's unfulfilled Chicago Spire amounting to just a (costly) depression along the Chicago River, what was to be the second-tallest building in the world certainly has not established the legacy it intended. However, following the site's relinquishment to local developers Related Midwest, it may yet have a meaningful impact on its community. Six Chicago-based firms of various disciplines have developed designs to make use of the "hole" by injecting a public program into the abandoned site . . .
Curbed : A Perfect Home for Outdoor EntertainingMarch 23, 2015
In Wicker Park, a Perfect Home for Outdoor Entertaining
Many buyers purchase a home with the intentions of one day giving it a full makeover, but sometimes life just gets in the way and the big renovation gets put on hold. After being in their home for several years and having a child on the way, Wicker Park residents Brendan and Heather decided that they were ready to transform their old brick house into their contemporary dream home. Two and a half years ago, the couple tapped SPACE Architects + Planners for the design work, and nearly rebuilt the home from scratch. Keeping a growing family in mind, the couple wanted to be sure that their home would be bright, airy and kid friendly. It's also perfect for outdoor entertaining as the kitchen opens up to the back patio, making for a home that really makes Chicago summers that much more enjoyable . . .
Curbed : Maggie Daley Park RestaurantFebruary 27, 2015
New Maggie Daley Park Restaurant Concept Has Trees Growing Through the Dining Room
At last night's meeting of the Grant Park Conservancy, new renderings for the forthcoming restaurant at the south end of Maggie Daley Park took the idea of site-specific architecture to heart. The proposed design from SPACE Architects and Site Design Group features a glass restaurant built to wrap around existing trees, as well as a green roof with a staircase leading down into the park. In addition to a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, the glass structure preserves sightlines to Buckingham Fountain, and the front will open up in the summer. Al fresco dining next to a tree growing inside the restaurant does take things to a whole new level, doesn't it? Still in preliminary planning stages, with an anticipated early 2016 opening, the restaurant will take root at a site down the street from the Modern Wing . . .
Chicago Eater : New Owen & Engine ProjectFebruary 10, 2015
New Owen & Engine Project to Blend Brewery With Southeast Asian Cuisine
After two successful restaurants under her belt, Owen & Engine's Bo Fowler is no longer worried about being pigeonholed for her Korean heritage and is opening a third spot.
She and cicerone Elliot Beier hope their new, unnamed project will open by late fall in Logan Square. The restaurant will be the sum of two concepts: Fowler's desire to focus on Southeast Asian flavors, and Beier's interest in opening a brew pub. Fowler's shop will feature a rotating variety of dumplings, Vietnamese dishes, thick Chinese noodles and noodle sticks — not just the trendy ramen that's infiltrated Chicago's dining scene. The flavors will be traditional with new twists . . .