Lake Shore Drive Remodel – Rough Trades 2
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 making a primary bath and bedroom more proportionate; the beauty of copper piping; peeling back layers of flooring; finding a way to put in new windows; creating a hidden door in an elevator vestibule; creating symmetry through arches and the joy of using architecture to continue existing design details through to a seamless renovation.
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:
Welcome back. I’m now standing in the primary bath. This wall here, didn’t used to be here. We made the bedroom about 13 inches smaller by shifting this wall that way. That allows us to have the space to a free-standing tub here, we have space on this side here to keep the toilet, and also do a double vanity.
You can see all this beautiful, amazing copper is now in in addition to the electrical conduit. And something that’s unique about this building is not only is the supply piping copper, but so are the vents. So, when I come to a job site and see all this beautiful copper, I’m extremely excited because I know we’re getting further along in the process.
So, we’re standing now in the primary bedroom. You may recall, from the previous video, that I probably couldn’t have stood here because there were mountains upon mountains of demolition material. As you can see, we’ve gotten that all out. We’ve done all of our new framing that we’ve needed to do. We’ve made this room smaller. It was massive before. We’ve made the room a little bit more proportionate. All the plaster crown that was here is going to go back in. And, there’s going to be a built-in cabinet on this wall, which you’ll see in a future video, which is beautiful.
One of the things that, as an architect, brings me incredible joy, is when a project is finished, and it’s hard for you to tell what was originally here and what was something that was added. And, a place where I think that’s going to be very evident in this apartment, is this arch that leads you into a vestibule space that then takes you on to our Great Room. It’s a replica of the arch of the doors that lead into the library. Anytime we’re designing a project, we’re trying to find these details that are inherently characteristic of the architecture that’s here, and, when we can, bring it back in again so that the new pieces of construction are connected to what’s always been here, and the renovation feels seamless.
So, I’m standing in the library, as you can see we finished demolition in here. We’ve also finished all of our rough electrical. We’ve added metal framing where we’ve needed to. What we’ve found during demolition, which has been very interesting, is there’s many, many, many different layers of finished floor. We’ve just been peeling them away, and peeling them away, to try and make sure that when the house project is finished, that we have a uniform floor level as much as we can throughout. And that, unfortunately, meant that this floor had to go.
You might remember this from the previous video that was the totally crazy bathroom that had the air-conditioning condensing unit installed over the tub. When we removed the air-conditioning unit we found an opening space here, and we’ve ordered a new window, so this bathroom will now be bright with beautiful tile and amazing cabinetry that I can’t wait for you to see in a future video.
I’m standing in the elevator vestibule in this particular building, this elevator opens and you are directly in your unit. Something that was very important to this owner was, in addition to having this formal door opening they wanted to have a secondary door opening that leads you directly into the kitchen. When this vestibule space is finished, the door’s almost going to feel like a hidden door but it’s going to give the owner some convenience of being able to get directly into the kitchen.
And this wall here allows us to make our kitchen even bigger. The way the hallway works now, is it frames this arched opening, symmetrically to the living room, which is a great design feature. And we took space which would have otherwise just been a table or a couple of chairs, or something that would be decorative, and we’ve been able to capture that space and make an extremely functional and large kitchen in its place.
Our next video, which I’m excited to share with you, will be when our finishes start going in, which is when you can really start to get a sense of the scales of the room, the sizes, the flow and best of all the finishes, when we can start seeing all the things we picked: stone and tile and cabinets really will start to make this apartment come to life.
Amy Scruggs, Architect, Scott Simpson Design + Build