The Doblin House

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The Doblin House was awarded an AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award in 2003. It is literally a one story, one room house, a nine square in plan, five of the squares are enclosed forming the main living space of kitchen, living, and bath. The other four squares define two outdoor gardens. The simplicity of the plan appealed to Bruce who claimed he would always live alone. An e-mail chain began in early 2013, first, Bruce mentioned he was dating Lisa, who was the firm’s client for the Student Center of the School of the Art Institute, 2013 AIA Chicago Interior Award. Later, Bruce mentioned that Lisa was moving in, still later, came the wedding announcement – OMG. An addition was needed, with two criteria, the space of the original house had to remain unchanged, and the addition provide new insights to the City and to their relationship. A storeroom between the kitchen and the garage was replaced with a stair leading up to an aerie that overlooked the neighborhood. Where original was inward looking the addition became a vantage point on the street with a strong connection to the skyline.

Architect of Record

Valerio Dewalt Train Associates


Bruce Doblin

General Contractor

Rock and Wall Construction


  • Robert Darvas Associates
  • Charter Sills + Associates