dSpace Studio and Project Interiors team up on a stunning, metal-clad abode in Lakeview.
When it comes to residential architecture in Chicago, brick, stone and concrete are the norm. But local firms dSpace Studio and Project Interiors took a different route with its recent project, a 6,000-square-foot, five-bed home on a double lot in Lakeview, cladding the front facade with standing seam zinc panels.
The architects credit the forward-thinking design to their clients, Jared and Stefanie Schenk, who raised their three children in a more traditional frame house on the same lot. “They’re very progressive, and they kept pushing us to go even further,” explains dSpace principal architect Robert McFadden, who collaborated with principal and founder Kevin Toukoumidis on the project.
While the dwelling is closed off from the street, the rooms on the main level have double-height glass walls overlooking a lush private courtyard. Like the front walkway, the concrete patios are scored with a trapezoidal motif that is repeated on the concrete flooring inside. “There was a cohesive vision,” Toukoumidis says, noting that the house is built slab-on-grade with no basement, enhancing the sense of connection between inside and out.
Overlooking the courtyard, the double-height great room is just as dramatic as the exterior, a molded metal staircase with a nearly invisible hand railing rising over the space from the open second-floor gallery to the third-floor master suite level.
The graphic black-and-white Orca backsplash in the open kitchen also lives up to the architecture, popping like artwork against the white lacquer cabinetry. “Who doesn’t want a large monochromatic abstract painting from the earth anchored in the heart of the home?” asks interior designer and Project Interiors founder Aimee Wertepny, who worked with colleague Jennifer Kranitz and the architects on the interior design.
Anchored in the heart of the home?” asks interior designer and Project Interiors founder Aimee Wertepny, who worked with colleague Jennifer Kranitz and the architects on the interior design.
“If our firm had a signature, texture might be it,” Wertepny says, pointing to the shredded leather throw pillows on the sofa. “That contrast keeps it interesting.”
In the dining area, a long mohair-covered bench and barrel-back deco-inspired chairs covered in blush wool mélange surround a vintage dining table with an ornate stone top. The rosy hue is reflected, literally, in the high-gloss pink interior of the rift-cut oak wet bar. “We didn’t want it to be one-note modern,” Kranitz says. “There are a lot of fun surprises.”
The unexpected elements include a hanging sculpture comprised of brass geometric shapes, which cascades down through a hole in the wife’s second-floor office to the entry foyer below, where it shimmers alongside a black baby grand piano atop a hide rug painted in an energetic circular pattern by Italian artist Selvaggia Armani. “Definitely unexpected,” Wertepny notes. “The brass sculpture is playful, but serious enough to honor the architecture.”
Riffing off the architecture whenever possible, the designers didn’t forget the trapezoidal detail: The porcelain tile in the master bathroom is laid in a similar pattern highlighted by a brass inlay, and the lines in the metallic tub backsplash echo the shape. “It’s a beaming surprise upon entering the master bath,” Wertepny says, “and it sets the tone—regal, chic, sexy.”
Indeed, inside and out, the home is like nothing else in the neighborhood—just what the owners envisioned. Says Toukoumidis, “They let us dance with them and create some really innovative ideas.”
“Never before have we had a client pull out a bag of tricks like Stefanie Schenk,” Wertepny adds. “It all whistles one happy tune.”