Urban Beach House

Distinguished Building Award Submission

This lakefront property is situated on a beach just south of downtown Chicago. While the majority of Chicago’s lakefront is owned by the Park District, this private residential alcove consists of streets that mirror the natural angle of the adjacent shoreline.

The Urban Beach House contains an all-glass, easterly wall stretching parallel to the shore that maximizes the lakefront vistas and connects the living spaces with the distant horizon. Away from the lake, the rest of the house exudes a more urban and protective character utilizing heavy, masonry walls and smaller, punched window openings.

The first level includes abundant parking and storage space, wine cellar, and kitchenette. Primary living spaces are on the second floor while three bedrooms with private baths are located on the third. A greenspace terrace is located on the roof.

The project’s urban and beachfront location presented unique challenges. The design and programming of this residence must coalesce contextually with the surrounding homes in close proximity, and yet exude an airy, open quality characteristic of a beach house “getaway.” This dichotomy is addressed via three masonry walls facing the city streets, offering occupants respite from the urban environment while complementing the masonry of surrounding residences.

Booth Hansen
  • Building Engineering Systems, LLC
  • Charter Sills
  • Gary A Wiss, Incorporated
  • Hoerr Schaudt
  • Louis Shell Structures
General contractor
Centaur Construction
Chicago, Illinois