Dwell: A Gut Renovation for a Retro Chicago Apartment in the Iconic Marina City Towers

Dwell: A Gut Renovation for a Retro Chicago Apartment in the Iconic Marina City Towers

By Ian Spula

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.