The core of the home, the 21-foot-tall atrium topped with a glass roof, is anchored by sculptural concrete steps fabricated by Steelskin.

The core of the home, the 21-foot-tall atrium topped with a glass roof, is anchored by sculptural concrete steps fabricated by Steelskin.

By day, the skylight fills the atrium with dazzling natural light. But by night, the space comes to life thanks to a pleasant glow emitted from within the architectural forms. Linear LED lights by Morton Grove, Illinois-based Luminii are integrated within the custom millwork and under the floating steps, reflecting off the white porcelain floor.

By day, the skylight fills the atrium with dazzling natural light. But by night, the space comes to life thanks to a pleasant glow emitted from within the architectural forms. Linear LED lights by Morton Grove, Illinois-based Luminii are integrated within the custom millwork and under the floating steps, reflecting off the white porcelain floor.

A bamboo "screen" rooted in a rock garden greets guests as they enter the home, bringing in greenery while blocking views of the kitchen.

A bamboo “screen” rooted in a rock garden greets guests as they enter the home, bringing in greenery while blocking views of the kitchen.

 

For dSpace Studio, no detail is too small--a philosophy that extends to the stairwell. The blackened raw-steel railing slices across the wall, backlit to boost the drama.

For dSpace Studio, no detail is too small–a philosophy that extends to the stairwell. The blackened raw-steel railing slices across the wall, backlit to boost the drama.

A skylight above the master bath extends the atrium motif. Linear LED fixtures edge the light well, drawing the eye up to the sky.

A skylight above the master bath extends the atrium motif. Linear LED fixtures edge the light well, drawing the eye up to the sky.

 

In the Details

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Photos by Evan Thomas, studiothomasphoto.com 

dSPACE STUDIO: ATRIUM HOUSE

Built in 1978 by Chicago architect Marcel Freides, Atrium House had a lot going for it. It covered three city lots and boasted an attached garage and spacious yard—uncommon in the Windy City’s heavily populated neighborhoods. The dwelling incorporated the namesake atrium, after all—also a welcome respite in the middle of the city. But by 2012, when a new family bought the home, the boxy brick structure was showing its age.

Beyond the needs of a simple renovation, the house was ready for a true transformation. And that’s what it got at the hands of dSpace Studio, which completed the overhaul in less than a year. “The ’78 design was very compartmentalized,” says dSpace Studio founder Kevin Toukoumidis, noting that the renovation opened up the floor plan and allowed natural light to pour in through skylights and wide banks of windows. “The opening of the home allowed more natural light and more connectivity from room to room.”

An edited palette of warm grays and wood tones offers a sense of serenity and sets off the art on the walls, much of which was created by the homeowner. Throughout, layers of lighting also manifest “moments of intensity,” as project manager Tom Hagerty calls them, complementing the clean lines of the architecture.

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