Blank Studio Design + Architecture

Last Third

Evanston, Illinois, USA (2010 – 2011) 

Located on a tree-lined street in Evanston, Illinois, this is a project for a sustainable, urban, in-fill condominium with special features for the soon to be or newly retired seeking a simpler residential experience for the last third of their lives. Many members of this generation are seeking to move from large, older, inefficient, multi-story single-family homes into smaller residences featuring modern construction technology that are easier to live in and easier and less costly to maintain and operate.  The project is organized into three living levels and a penthouse level atop a plinth of shared functions. Active photovoltaic solar collection, natural ventilation, a double glazed façade (on three living units), and geothermal heating and cooling are part of the energy plan.

A plinth of black brick anchors the project to the site while a translucent glass protrusion signifies entry. Fully operable, single-glazed wood door panels surround the three central living units and act as thermal buffers for the summer and winter months. The concrete floor plates are mismatched at each level to articulate unique verandas for each unit. 

Vehicles approach the building from a rear alley driveway and park within the ground floor plinth level ensuring that the residents can access their homes from a sheltered area. Common garden spaces exist in the rear yard of the site.


Client: Richard Hay

Status: Design development complete - 2011

Project Team: Jillian Brooks, Andrea Tejeda Gamez, Emil Crystal, Phonephasith Choulremountry