Falling Wall becomes Frozen Wall

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The original architects dissected a Victorian mansion in the 1920s.  As they ‘found’ a pile of building material, it became theirs. They figured out how to build a wall, change a floor height or remove it altogether, tile a sidewalk, and how to enhance a surface with murals and capture light in art glass.  

One of the garden walls, actually the only part of the work allowed in the 1920s building permit, had taken on a noticeable slump, slope, and curvature.  Other architects and engineers asked ‘How is it standing? We must rebuild! Add new foundations!, Ensure adequate drainage! and Design to load conditions!’ The owners eventually found the architect who they knew could think about this differently. 

Using techniques learned in France, the architect designed a way to have the wall was frozen in place. A myriad of stainless steel pins were threaded through the somewhat filled rubble core approximately 3 wythe brick wall.  The wall was then injected to fill voids and consolidate the interior.  Replacement bricks were hand sorted to blend perfectly with the unique aesthetic  of the wall.  

The owners did accept all of the work, the wall is stable, it looks completely in keeping with the architectural labyrinth that is Carl St. Studios.



Architect of Record

Mary Brush
Brush Architects, LLC
4200 N. Francisco
Chicago, Illinois 60618
Phone: 312.925.3070
mary@brusharchitects.com

General Contractor

Csaba Bera
C & S Bera Construction
2041 Techny Rd
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
Phone: 847.830.4938
csababera@sbcglobal.net

Photography

Mary Brush

Direct image use from site prohibited. For inquiries on image use, or to obtain specific image credit in the event of multiple photographers, contact AIA Chicago.