Chicago Rowhouse Typology

Location: Chicago
Client: Chicago DPD & Chicago Architectural Center
Scope: Architecture
Progress/Year: Proposed

In the last century, Chicago innovated by creating very tall buildings. Now, structural innovation can produce very long buildings—landscapers—for affordable housing for all.

Readymade Row re-purposes a cost-effective, industrial building system typically used for warehouses to create affordable and unique rowhouses. The “off-the-rack” system is deployed to create a very large and long envelope. Each steel truss is oriented in the long-direction on a Chicago lot, creating an “instant” twenty-five foot wide rowhouse. At ground level, simple eight-foot tall storefronts create a contemporary facade. The proposal is designed to fit on a block of standard Chicago lots that are 25’ wide and 125’ deep. The building is set back from the street approximately 24’ feet. The first 15’, or the required zoning setback, is reserved for a shared front yard. This zone will be an active shared space with kids playing football or young professionals relaxing in the sun. The interior of each building has a flexible and open floor plan. Utilities, storage, and vertical circulation line the walls. On the second floor the primary bedroom looks out over the front yard. Two additional bedrooms are on the other side of the atrium to maximize privacy. On the third floor, under the slope of the roof a home office is at the front, and a playroom at the back.