Architect Jeanne Gang just won the MacArthur Genius award, so we thought we’d take a closer look at one of her lesser-known projects. The Brick Weave House is a unique but interestingly appropriate re-purposed house in the architect’s home town of Chicago. The house grew from the heart of a century-old stable - inspired by the materials and a limited budget, Gang reused and reconfigured the building into a contemporary home that still reflects the old neighborhood.
The original plan was to remodel the original brick building located on the city’s west side, but when fire damage was uncovered plans needed to be rethought. While much of the building had to be torn down, 30% of it was kept intact. The rest is a revisualization of the space with a tiered two-story floor plan that creates interest and function within the home’s rectangular footprint.
The Brick Weave refers to the dynamic street façade, which contains a small walk-out patio. The perforated brick acts as a screen, maintaining privacy but inviting light inside. By day the expansive front windows allow hexagonal spots of light into the main living space, creating a honeycomb of sunlight and shadow. In the evening the façade is backlit, lightening the presence of the home in the traditional neighborhood. The simple rectangular shape of the house is classic modernist, but it bridges the gap with its forbears with it traditional materiality, adding a unique tension to the design.