Lake Shore Drive Remodel – Rough Trades
Take a tour of the “rough trades” stage inside the walls and floors of an incredible Lake Shore Drive condominium. Architect Amy Scruggs shares the step-by-step thinking behind a total redesign of a 1920s Chicago co-op and some of the challenges of remodeling in a city high-rise on Lake Michigan.
In this update we look at running plumbing and conduit in an older building; widening openings to join living spaces, let in the light and lake views, plan for mirroring existing trim; accommodating recessed lights in a ceiling filled with concrete beams; plan for a demolished stone fireplace; and adding a brand new powder room.
We hope you enjoy watching the architectural design take shape bit by bit as much as we do. More to come!
The North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago Architecture Series:
- Part 1 – Demolition
- Part 2A – Rough Trades 1
- Part 2B – Rough Trades 2
- Part 3A – Rough Finishes 1
- Part 3B – Rough Finishes 2
- Part 3C – Rough Finishes 3
- Part 3C – Rough Finishes 3
- Part 3D – Rough Finishes 4
- Part 3E – Rough Finishes 5
- Part 4 – Final Finishes
North Lake Shore Drive Rough Finishes Transcript
Hi, everybody. This is Amy Scruggs from Scott Simpson Design +Build. I wanted to welcome you back to 1500 North Lake Shore Drive. We are in the midst of rough trades. Last time we were here it was during demo. And I thought it would be a good time to show you what we’ve been up to.
So, I’m standing in the living room, which we’re sort of thinking now is a great room. It’s going to be a living room towards the window. We’re going to have a huge area here for a dining room. Part of the design intent of this room was to create a much larger connection between our great room space and our family room space. What had been here previously was a 6-foot wide opening with doors.
We really attempted to make this opening as big as possible so that we could have that visual connection and have all the light coming through. One of the casualties of doing something like that is that panel mold that was here is now destroyed because of the opening that we’re putting in. But, what we’re planning to do, we’re going to put that panel molding right back. We’re just going to recreate the geometry, recreate the trim that’s already here. When we’re finished, you’re never gonna know because all of the treatment that’s on the rest of the walls will now be applied to this other wall.
The family room, as you can see, opens up into our new kitchen. This is one of the probably most exciting and challenging parts of the project. Adding plumbing in a high-rise or moving plumbing in a high-rise is extremely challenging. So, in order to get our plumbing from where it used to be, which was on this back wall, to where it needs to go we were able to open up some spaces within the floor cavity to be able to run our plumbing underneath our floor slab. Very unusual condition but we were able to get it done. Part of the largest success of this kitchen was being able to move it out from the dark part in the back part of the building to getting it front and center.
We have a great relationship, now, between family room space and kitchen I’m standing here. I have an amazing view of the lake and that was the goal from the start – figure out how to make the kitchen actually be here. So, this wall here, you can see we’ve had to furr out and we furred it out to get this junction box in. Because of the way the building was originally constructed, there isn’t a way now to actually remodel in conduit in a box. When it’s all said and done, you won’t even realize why we did it that way. It’s going to look like it’s been always part of this room.
We’ve had this crazy mural in this room and we’ve decided, as just kind of a funny, to leave it in place. So, for any person who comes in the future and does a remodeling or peels any of the work back that we’ve done, they’ll have a fun surprise.
So, I’m standing in the living room, which has a dining room component next to me, and the original layout of this room had sconces all around, which you can see in some of the boxes where the wires are hanging. We’ve decided to omit the sconces. And, because we’ve decided to do that, we need to figure out a way to actually get some light in here. We have designed a coffered ceiling detail and, as a result of that, within several of the coffers we’re going to be installing recessed lights. The design is amazing. We laid it out on the ceiling, open the ceiling up and there’s concrete beams everywhere where we want to have the lights. So, we worked with our extremely talented electrician to find a different type of recessed light that’s shallower, it’s about 2 inches deep. It’ll look very similar to the other recessed lights in the house. But it allows us to, sort of, still keep our original design intent and get the light in the space that we need.
There used to be a really large, very ornate, carved stone mantel. Above it, there was a gilt-framed mirror. We’ve actually demolished all of that. So, you can get a sense of what the fireplace looks like. And, I look forward to showing you, in a future video, the finished product, which is a beautiful stone surround with a wood mantel.
Through this amazing team that we put together, we were able to add plumbing, add an entire powder room, to a place where there wasn’t before. And for those of you who lived in a high-rise or have worked in a high-rise you know that’s amazing.
Amy Scruggs, Architect, Scott Simpson Design + Build