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milw_porch01After completing the artist loft spaces on Milwaukee Avenue, we have been asked to reconstruct the currently dilapidated rear exit porch and stair.  However, instead of reconstructing the stair only to serve the purpose of an emergency exit and, what will certainly become, a tenant storage annex, we thought, ‘What else could it be?’.  One the the reasons many rear porches end up as overflow storage for residents is because Chicago porches are not particularly inviting places to spend time.  They are only designed for the one purpose of exiting, and stairwells tend not to conjure up thoughts of a welcoming space.  This isn’t to say that utilitarian spaces can’t be beautiful, however, in this case, they aren’t.  Read the rest of this entry »

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milwaukeelofts_currentphotoInterior work is complete at the artists’ lofts in Logan Square.  Photos after the jump.  Next up, rehab of the back porch into sky gardens.

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milwaukee aveWe were just approved for final inspection.  Latest photos after the jump.

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The original, existing roof rafters are rather shallow, so to save material and ensure we have the maximum insulation value in the roof, we are using a soy based, open-cell, spray-foam insulation.  Typical pink, batt insulation has trouble filling all framing cavities in a roof or wall which leads to air leaks and a sub-par insulation value.  This can lead to large energy losses, in fact, up to 40% of energy loss can be attributed to unwanted air leakage, according to the Department of Energy.  Read the rest of this entry »


An otherwise underutilized attic space is being transformed into a light-filled work space for the artist residents of a residential building in Logan Square.  We are retaining and exposing the existing masonry and heavy timber structure at the interior space.  The existing turret will be restored to its original condition after an unfortunate run in with vinyl siding.  Most of the finish materials will be reclaimed, including the interior doors, from other project sites in Logan Square, plumbing fixtures, and flooring. Read the rest of this entry »

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