Mid-Century Tree House
Highland Park, IL
This single family residence was originally designed in the 1950’s by famed architect Edward Dart, and is a fine example of Mid-Century modern design. Our efforts involved extensive rehabilitation work and two separate additions to the original home. Rehabilitation and Phase I addition work maintained much of the essential original interior and exterior character, while expanding living areas, improving energy efficiency, and updating select finishes and mechanical systems. The Phase II addition was a more radical departure from the original structure, dramatically expanding the size of the home while maintaining its integrity through sympathetic, yet dynamic volumes.
The original home encompassed approximately 2,800 square feet on two levels, nestled in a heavily wooded sloping site. The four bedroom home was designed with an attached garage shielded by an upper level front wood planked terrace that extends cross the entire length of the home. The low slung roof is a direct result of the purity of its structure, with a series of 4 x 4 wood planks across a regular rhythm of exposed wood beams.
Phase I added 1,400 square feet over two levels, while Phase II added 1,700 square feet, a third level and an additional bedroom. The design of these new areas was largely influenced by Dart’s work itself, the natural site terrain, and setback requirements. The current home is over 5,000 square feet, with five bedrooms, multiple living spaces, and a rooftop terrace with built-in plantings.
This project received a Silver Award for Renovation from the Association of Licensed Architects. The home also received a Preservation Award for Rehabilitation from the Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission.