We’re going to start here with a PSA folks:
The catalyst for this project was a sudden fire caused by a cigarette thrown into our clients’ exterior planter by a random bystander on an extremely dry day. The exterior planter erupted into flames which quickly engulfed the exterior cladding. Thankfully, first responders were able to immediately subdue the fire and no injuries were sustained. Subsequently, our clients sought to remedy the exterior fire damage to their home. As a result, they ultimately decided to capitalize on the process of qualifying a contractor and pursue an interior renovation as well in order to improve their lifestyle for their charming young family.
Moral of the story:
- Smoking is bad, stop it.
- If you’re going to smoke, find a tidy spot to put out your cigarette…perhaps bring some water with you to pour on it. Smashing it on the ground is gross and not good enough. I mean, c’mon, it’s not the ’90s.
- Smoking will kill you. Stop it.
- Pretty sure smoking with a mask is a fire hazard.
- For cripe sake, DON’T ‘flick’ your cigarette anywhere! How rude!
- Cigarettes have fire. They are tiny little fire starters. Remember that as you’re sucking that lit piece of tar into your lungs.
- Fire is no joke.
- Fire is not prejudice. It hates everyone equally.
- Fire is a honey badger.
- Don’t mess with fire.
So, Integro was tasked from taking this project from “Our place was on fire” to “This place is on FIRE!”
As such, this project involved of the interior renovation and exterior restoration of a 4-story contemporary townhome located in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago. In collaboration with 2 Point Perspective Architecture+Interiors, our scope involved the reconfiguration of the layout on the 1st floor including new interior framing, new lighting, new flooring, the addition of a gas fireplace, custom millwork, finish carpentry, and a selective upgrade to the kitchen including an extended peninsula finished with custom quartz countertops. We performed minor renovations to the upper floors including improvements to the master suite and the addition of millwork, lighting, and paint to the 3rd and 4th floors. Our scope, of course, also involved the fabrication and installation of architectural composite cladding to the exterior.
The design of the spaces focused on the improved function of the living areas. While the 1st floor boasted approximately 500 square feet of living space, the open-concept layout did not allow for multi-purpose use and lacked storage space. Furthermore, our clients had found minor design flaws of the original architecture which negatively impacted their daily lives. For example, the kitchen peninsula featured a raised backsplash to house electrical outlets which created a visual separation between the kitchen and the living space. This separation felt counterintuitive to the open-concept layout. The peninsula also lacked sufficient counterspace – they did not have a substantial surface area anywhere to use for family-style dining which forced them to use freestanding furniture for their needs. This was not an ideal arrangement for accommodating small children and enthusiastic animals.
The flooring consisted of a mixture of stone tiles and luxury vinyl tile to define the different spaces throughout the 1st Floor. The contemporary, cool tones of the tiles were brought to life by a medley of laminate veneer and rift oak millwork. All millwork was fully custom and fabricated by Integro’s team. In addition to providing aesthetic appeal to the home, the millwork also provided storage space. We constructed an entry closet system including a bench for seating, an extension of the kitchen peninsula casework with an integrated banquette bench which included a hinged top for interior storage, and an angled push-latch storage door to enclose the open area discovered under the existing staircase. We fabricated architectural mirrors for the powder room and master bathroom. Designed to provide continuity throughout the home, we also fabricated rift oak posts to flank the staircase at the 1st and 4th floors. The see-through fireplace walls defining the living and dining areas were clad with three-dimensional tile and finished with a custom fabricated porcelain mantel. The exterior cladding and custom-built exterior planter were constructed from Reynobond aluminum composite panels, also custom fabricated by our team.
Our team was challenged on this project by an aggressive timeline for substantial completion as the clients opted to occupy the upper floors throughout construction, effectively leaving them without a kitchen or large amount of personal space for months. We were also forced to accommodate increased site management and safety precautions in response to a global pandemic which suddenly occurred during construction. In addition, our team was accountable to the Building regulations as well as insurance regulations above and beyond our responsibilities to our client and the architect regarding both logistics and quality of craftsmanship.
Ultimately, the Integro team delivered this project to our clients ahead of schedule – allowing them to occupy the space during the very week that a global pandemic shut down the City of Chicago and a stay-at-home order was issued from the State of Illinois. We received interim and final approvals from the Building and the insurance inspectors without incident. Together with 2 Point Perspective Architecture+Interiors, our final product enhanced the existing architecture of the building in order to provide an improved lifestyle for our clients, allowing them to enjoy their home with their growing family for years to come.
So, here it is! The final reveal:
Four floors, three months, two closets, and one global pandemic…this project embodied the term “coming in hot!”
Special thanks to 2 Point Perspective Architecture + Interiors
for their beautiful design and collaborative enthusiasm. It’s always a pleasure to work with you!
Thank you to our photographer, Kim Woods, for documenting our space.
A HUGE thank you to our clients. You were kind, you were patient, and you were an absolute pleasure to work for under duress from the world. There is little that is better on a project than unwavering commitment and support from our clients. Thank you.
…and we cannot forget our intrepid Foredog, Pepsi! Thank you for keeping us in line and taking personal responsibility for site security!
Pepsi taking stock of the site situation.
Nothing gets by Pepsi!
Thinking about a project? So are we! Check out our other projects at Integro!