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Urban Penthouse

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dmadsenweaetxdyvaydzcwq, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Urban Penthouse

Project Status



5,500 sq. feet


  • General Contractor: Bovis Lend Lease, Inc.
  • Related Midwest
  • : WMA Consulting Engineers, Ltd.
  • Electrical Engineer: WMA Consulting Engineers, Ltd.
  • WMA Consulting Engineers, Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer: VAA, LLC
  • Lighting Designer: Office for Visual Interaction, Inc.
  • Bernhard Woodwork, Ltd.
  • Bulthaup Corporation

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Project Description

The project is a penthouse apartment located in a new 60+ story high-rise in the Midwest. The clients are collectors of contemporary Asian art and the display of their collection played a central part in the development of the spaces. The 5,500 square foot project includes four bedrooms and a custom designed playroom. The main social spaces are lined by warm wood surfaces conceptually set within larger, brightly lit and open circulation areas. Rather than walls shear lines of material divisions define rooms and separate the living spaces. Family members can be in close proximity, while occupying completely different environments. The art’s position around the perimeter of each space considers sequence, scale, and site-lines to determine its locations. Sculpture is used for its silhouette and to create an element of surprise. The basic white palette of the apartment is defined by living spaces lined with plain-sliced walnut, mediated with perforated aluminum screens. Walnut floors are used throughout. Walnut slatted ceilings are installed in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. The open slatted walnut ceilings are used to conceal lighting fixtures, sprinklers, and acoustical material. Larger custom designed elements include digitally designed and fabricated aluminum plate screens and a rubber play room with climbing surface. Daylighting strategies focus on using reflective surfaces to distribute light from the perimeter to the center of the floor plan. The aluminum screens are used to create a layered effect, allowing the spaces to feel open and connected while still distinctly separate. The aluminum screens create a layered affect; the spaces are open, connected, and reflective while distinctly separate. Variations in pattern are analogs to sand dunes that foster diverse ecologies through variation in topography. In the case of these perforated screens, a distinct pattern fosters active space. Conversely, a subtle pattern fosters passive space.
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