Penthouse Gallery

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

Conceived as an addition to an apartment designed by the architect in 1998, this 5,500 SF penthouse unit functions as an office, library and gallery for the owner's contemporary art collection. Large two-story exhibition spaces alternate with single story spaces for smaller works and photography. Cantilevered balconies on the second floor are set back from full height windows providing views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. The high-rise structure is expressed where possible, with freestanding walls sliding past the columns and each other. By alternatively intruding and retreating into the spaces they define, these walls create an ambiguous and dynamic reading of the space, where larger and smaller spaces dissolve and flow into each other. A subdued palette of hand scraped walnut floors, honed limestone and brushed stainless steel harmonizes with that of the adjacent apartment. A helical steel and glass stair leads to the library and office which feature custom stainless steel bookcases. A computer controlled louver system modulates the amount of light from the central atrium skylights, using movable aluminum fins and light sensors. An automated dual-shade system at the perimeter provides additional light control for protection and optimized viewing of the collection

Architect of record

Alexander Krikhaar
Vinci Hamp Architects, Inc.
1147 West Ohio Street, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60642, USA
Phone: 312-733-7744

General contractor

Keith Olsen
Norcon, Inc.
661 West Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60654, USA
Phone: 312.715.9200

Consultant 1

Jim Kirk
Enspect, Inc.
8300 Mississippi Street
Merrillville, IL 46410, USA
Phone: 219-736-6002

Consultant 2

Wally Goldin
WMA Consulting Engineers
815 South Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Phone: 312-786-4310


Bill Zbaren
Chicago, IL, USA
Phone: 773 218 9395