Architect • John Ronan Architecture
Distributor • Illinois Brick Company
Brick breakdown • 30,000 Roman Maximus Bricks
The 2-story 5,600 square-foot residential single home, known as Chicago House (Gallery House), is located in the North Side of Chicago. It is a historic Chicago neighborhood, notable for its historic 20th century and pre-war single-family multiunit dwellings. Most homes in the neighborhood were made of brick. Even though this residence with its contemporary design is different than its neighbors, the home speaks to its surroundings with a common materiality, geometry, and scale that is neither slavish nor disrespectful to the area’s typology.
The brick used is called Flint Hills in a roman maximus size, which is 24 inches in length, and is longer than any commercially made brick in North America. This brick offers designers endless sculptural capabilities. The diversified product line from Glen-Gery enabled the architects to select this unique masonry units in ten colors. The architect, John Rona’s, attention to detail and craft is apparent in all aspects of the project, from the random bond pattern of the roman maximus brick to the deep-set steel windows, solid white oak front door, bronze handrails and the curing zinc fence. The interior screen walls and soldier coursing are enhanced architecturally by the roman maximus size. This distinctive brick evokes feelings of sophistication, exclusivity, and prestige to the project.
“In terms of scale, the house fits in with everything in the neighborhood,” says Ronan, “but it’s a house of its own time.”
The Chicago House features a library/dining room on the first floor, with two bedrooms for visitors or guests and has a shared bath above. The house has a spacious kitchen/ family room, topped by the second-floor master suite. To the southwest of the master suite, a slender, single-story volume serves as the family’s mudroom and laundry wing. From the street you can notice the deep front-entry porch, and flanked by a small but gracious front and back yard with a separate brick garage facing an alley behind it. Truly backing the statement, “a house of its own time.” - Ronan Architects