Georgi Todorov, AIA, Senior Project Architect
The Urban Cabin
Our design is a contemporary building, which is to be integrated seamlessly in the diverse context of two neighborhoods - Humboldt Park and Bronzeville. The abstract exterior would be respectful to the existing historical buildings while at the same time, act as a catalyst to revitalize these urban areas, by enhancing people’s experience and raising property values. The house is strategically organized in a way that is flexible to many different work-life scenarios and can be achieved with minor alternations. It is even possible to split the house into two independent units by adding a second building entrance, so one of the floors could be used as an income unit - a rental or office space. The first floor is fully wheelchair accessible. We have focused on energy efficiency, high levels of insulation and no thermal bridging. The structural system is prefabricated cross-laminated timber walls and floors, to be left exposed on the interior. This innovative and environmentally-friendly system allows not only for substantially shorter on-site construction time, but also for higher product quality and helps to offset costs for interior finishes. The proposed exterior materials are durable and low maintenance. Our design changed significantly from our first submission to our final submission, because we incorporated every single piece of advice and feedback we received into our work. We also consulted great experts, who were willing to share their “know-how”. Using smart tips and tricks, we were able to achieve more than 35% savings in comparison with a base design for the middle-class market without compromising aesthetics, functional, or performance qualities.
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