Asbury Residence

Evanston , Illinois / United States of America

The head scratching question on this project came from the client at the initial meeting: what form does a house take that is both contemporary in spirit yet reflective of traditional Mediterranean design concepts? 

Key to the design was the recognition that what has developed as a “Modern Mediterranean” style in this country is neither all that modern nor does it accurately reflect the diversity of building stock from this vast region; for the most part the term has come to describe an unrestrained pastiche of clichéd, predictable elements.  Objectively looking back into history helped define a fresh direction for the project. 

Italian Rationalism of the 1920s, itself a derivation of Renaissance concepts, with an emphasis on reason and logic, became a launch pad.  The house is an amalgamation of simple, easy to identify volumes.  Therefore, the stately front façade contextually establishes the house (within Evanston’s Ridge Historic District).  Detailing was streamlined and minimized.  The interior’s open plan wraps around a central courtyard and is a reflection of a contemporary, casual lifestyle.  Orienting spaces toward the courtyard also serves to buffer busy street noise.  Extra height spaces invited the addition of over-scaled windows to bring in sunlight without compromising privacy.

The head scratching question on this project came from the client at the initial meeting: what form does a house take that is both contemporary in spirit yet reflective of traditional Mediterranean design concepts? 

Key to the design was the recognition that what has developed as a “Modern Mediterranean” style in this country is neither all that modern nor does it accurately reflect the diversity of building stock from this vast region; for the most part the term has come to describe an unrestrained pastiche of clichéd, predictable elements.  Objectively looking back into history helped define a fresh direction for the project. 

Italian Rationalism of the 1920s, itself a derivation of Renaissance concepts, with an emphasis on reason and logic, became a launch pad.  The house is an amalgamation of simple, easy to identify volumes.  Therefore, the stately front façade contextually establishes the house (within Evanston’s Ridge Historic District).  Detailing was streamlined and minimized.  The interior’s open plan wraps around a central courtyard and is a reflection of a contemporary, casual lifestyle.  Orienting spaces toward the courtyard also serves to buffer busy street noise.  Extra height spaces invited the addition of over-scaled windows to bring in sunlight without compromising privacy. 
 



Contractor

Private

Consultants

  • Robert Darvas and Assoc.