Elgin Artspace Lofts

Elgin, Illinois / United States of America

Elgin Artspace Lofts, a 100,500 SF project (58,600 existing, 41,900 addition), provides 55 units of tax-credit-funded affordable live/work space exclusively for Artists. Comparatively, this facility has big units, wide corridors and large doors, but the essential elements are the semi-public spaces, which encourage collaboration and engagement with the public.

The solution is about tensions: old – new, commercial – residential, private – public. The addition must complement but not mimic the original, the project must blend between commercial and residential districts, and the privacy needs of the residents must be balanced with the mandate to engage downtown.

Retail areas line the major pedestrian axis while live-work units are held above grade or towards the east. A network of amenity spaces weaves throughout and creates a zone between public and private where interaction is fostered.

The project completely gutted and restored the historic building. The addition matches height and major materiality, taking form as a metal-shingled volume emerging from behind planes of brick. This brick boundary, like that of the historic building, creates the public-private interface where community engagement occurs, while the individuality of each shingle and the piece-by-piece installation evoke the craftsmanship and artistic process behind the walls.

Architect of record

Michael Krych
BKV Group
343 S. Dearborn St. #203
Chicago, IL 60604, United States
Phone: 312-279-0470

Associate architect

Craig Carter
BKV Group
343 S. Dearborn St. #203
Chicago, IL 60604, United States
Phone: 312-279-0470

General contractor

John McNutt
Shales McNutt Construction
425 Renner Drive
Elgin, IL 60123, United States
Phone: 847-622-1214

Consultant 1

Jeff Jacob
Jacob & Heffner Associates
1910 S. Highland Ave. #100
Lombard, IL 60148, United States
Phone: 630-652-4600

Consultant 2

Kelley Lindquist
Artspace Projects
250 Third Avenue North, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States
Phone: 612.333.9012


Kate Joyce
Kate Joyce Photography
3925 N. Keeler Ave., #1W
Chicago, IL 60641, United States
Phone: 312-618-6737