Future Firm’s Hem House Has All The Makings Of A Half-Price Winner | News
image copyrightDaniel Kelleghan Photography
As part of the firm’s desire to fill the “middle market” of residential housing options with inspiring contemporary architecture, Chicago-based Future Firm has designed a new 1,300 square foot residential project, called hem house, which provided the city with a sustainable model to build the foundation of thriving mixed-income communities.
The design team worked with real estate developer Jacob Root to create the project in hopes of diversifying the housing stock available to those interested in the area where construction costs for new housing typically start at $600,000.
“While there is a very vibrant arts and culture scene in Chicago, there isn’t much bespoke contemporary architecture, and what exists in residential is almost exclusively very upscale – so we hope to help to change that narrative,” co-lead Ann Lui explained. “Since Chicago’s residential lots are all the same size, it’s easy for people to repeat plans and end up with disappointing architecture. We would like to be a trend in a different direction.
“This unique use of the typical 25′ x 125′ Chicago residential lot allows Hem House to be experienced as if it were on a much larger site,” said Craig Reschke, co-manager of Future Firm. “It also allows for large windows that let in natural light but also remain private from the street.”
The house is defined by double-stacked volumes clad in black metal cladding which is typically used as a roofing material to give it the “sharp” and “clean” aesthetic associated with contemporary residential design. A central entrance is tucked into the side yard, opening into a combination cloakroom and laundry room followed on the right side by an L-shaped kitchen and distribution of living areas which have been positioned to maximize light and comfort. isolation in unison with its white plasterboard interior.
The house was completed last summer and went on sale for $399,000. It was later sold and, as Cook County Land Bank Authority’s Darlene Dugo says, is now a shining example of how flexible single-family units can reshape communities by recharging disused areas.
“For too long, the blight caused by decades of redlining and the housing crisis of 2008 has depressed property values and economic investment in black and brown neighborhoods,” she said. “By reclaiming vacant land and building beautiful, affordable community assets, Hem Development demonstrates what is possible when we empower local architects and developers to resurrect derelict spaces.”