An Addition with Six Windows

A small addition that redesigns how the existing historic house relates to its outdoor spaces











An Addition with Six Windows establishes a new relationship between a historic house and its outdoor spaces.

While the original 100-year-old house, located on Hutchinson Street in Chicago’s Buena Park neighborhood, has a historic exterior and a thoughtful interior organization, it is currently lacking a strong relationship between its interior and exterior spaces.

Materiality, scale and dimensions of the addition respond and complement the original volume, respecting the history (and landmark status) of the existing house. The new addition features a brick façade, matching the material, brick size, and joint alignment of the existing building but with a lighter color. The width of the new and existing windows are equal (3 feet), and the pitched roof also matches the original angles and transition points.

In the lower level, the new addition accommodates an informal seating area slightly lower than the dinning room, defining its own spatial qualities and highlighting its relationship to the outside patio. This area features two windows that incorporate wide seating areas to enjoy the views, light, and a direct connection to the new patio.

The upper level includes the master bedroom with controlled views to the outside maintaining its privacy from the neighboring homes. The space includes four windows: two skylights to receive the morning light from the east and to frame the branches of the existing tree to the west. A third window becomes a balcony located at the same level as the treetop, and a fourth window frames an intimate color garden above the kitchen.

A series of small interventions in the original house are made to reorganize some of the existing spaces, including the kitchen on the lower level and the bathrooms on the upper level. The new kitchen becomes the hinge between the existing house, the addition, and the new patio area.

Overall, this small addition redesigns how the existing house relates to its outdoor spaces while building upon its historic characteristics.

Type: Architecture
Location: Chicago
Author: MAS Studio
Team: Iker Gil, Julie Michiels, Jacob Chartoff, & Danrui Xiang
Client: Private residence
Size: 315 square feet
Year: 2018
Status: Schematic design / Unbuilt


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