Cut Triplex

Location: Chicago, IL
Size: 5,300 SF + 2 car garage
Type: Private Residence
Construction: Confidential
Client: Michelle + Ian
Consultant: James Gorski
Structural: SP Engineers
MEP: Bldg. Engineering Systems
Photo: Michael Vahrenwald
Completion: 2016


The Cut Triplex house balances privacy and openness, maximizing the narrow but deep Chicago property to carve out a light-filled 5,300 square foot residence. Behind the monolithic black brick facade lies an inviting and light interior. On the second floor, wrapped along the south facade that overlooks the adjacent alleyway, a long ribbon of continuous windows lets light stream into the kitchen and dining areas, where artificial light is rarely needed during the day.

In addition, light wells that reach from the first to the second floor bring natural illumination to each end of the residence. On the third floor, which holds the family’s four bedrooms, window sizes and their positioning vary, giving each room a unique quality of light.

For the clients, who had been on an extensive search for the perfect home in Chicago for several years, the option of designing and building a new house from the ground up offered many opportunities. Throughout the house, custom details were of a higher quality and lower in cost than in any home available on the market.

Winner of ICONIC Design Award for Innovative Architecture, Germany
Design Award of Citation, AIA New York State
MINI Building 6, A&C Publishing
The New Urban House: A Global Survey, Yale University Press
Interview with


SPACECUTTER – NYC, Chicago, Catskills/Hudson Valley