written by:
November 4, 2015
Space Architects + Planners overhauled a Chicago apartment to prioritize views of the city.
Marina City Towers exterior

Often likened to corncobs or honeycombs, each Marina City tower has 19 levels of open-air garage parking beneath 40 levels of residences. Their strident pose beside the river, atop a podium of shops, restaurants, services, and a marina, was part of their financer’s effort to build a showstopper that would keep 900 families in the city at the height of urban flight.

1 / 7
Marina City apartment renovation galley kitchen

A galley kitchen was opened to the living room during the renovation—the new combo space fills out much of the space and claims the largest share of balcony. Floors are Cerdomus stoneware tiles, laid to simulate herringbone hardwood.

2 / 7
Marina City apartment renovation eat-in kitchen

The all-new eat-in kitchen has an island with a Silestone quartz surface, comfortably seating six. To free up even more living space, an entertainment center is integrated into the back wall, adjacent to a seating nook.

3 / 7
Marina City apartment renovation living room

The unit has virtually no right angles, and the spread of furniture is equally freeform. Brightness, neutral colors, inset lighting, and open circulation combat ceiling height—a mere eight feet. 

4 / 7
Marina City apartment renovation bedroom

The master bedroom was enlarged in the renovation and its circulation altered, again to prioritize views and natural lighting. The herringbone tile extends from the main living space.

5 / 7
Marina City apartment renovation bathroom

Ebony tile and artificial lighting take over in the master bathroom, but even with the door shut, the sightline carries through. “The whole unit is subservient to the views,” says Dufresne. “We created a one-way mirror so the client could shower with the view and keep his privacy.” 

6 / 7
Marina City apartment renovation floor plan

On a high floor in the east tower, this unit takes up two-and-a-half kernels on the cob. The buildings are famous for pie-shaped floor plans wrapped around a central core, bringing generous window frontage and broad balconies. As a result bathrooms and closets are shunted toward the point of each wedge, by the entry.

7 / 7
Marina City Towers exterior

Often likened to corncobs or honeycombs, each Marina City tower has 19 levels of open-air garage parking beneath 40 levels of residences. Their strident pose beside the river, atop a podium of shops, restaurants, services, and a marina, was part of their financer’s effort to build a showstopper that would keep 900 families in the city at the height of urban flight.

The twin towers of Marina City, designed by modernist master Bertrand Goldberg, are closing in on landmark protection—something most Chicagoans probably assumed they already had. When Jean Dufresne of Space Architects + Planners embarked on a gut renovation of a Loop- and lake-facing two-bedroom unit for a new owner. The space presented as it did upon the towers’ completion in 1964: shag carpeting, a mint green bathroom, metal cabinets, and laminate counters being the currency of the day. “It all sounds cool and retro, but it had not been maintained,” says Dufresne. “The view, now that was amazing.” The client, a single dad, wanted an exhilarating space that fully capitalized on that vantage point.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016