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A Two-Story Addition Turned a Bachelor Pad Into a Comfortable Home For Two

By Dwell @dwell
Doblin House addition exterior

The new two-story addition is clad in the same metal decking as the original one-story home. Principal Joe Valerio says this kind of decking is usually crafted using ribs of equal width to create a highly articulated surface. To avoid that look, he used ribs that alternate between very narrow and broad widths, to create a façade that “has a monolithic quality.” 

When construction was completed in 2003, Bruce Doblin's house in Chicago was the ideal big city bachelor pad. Designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, the early 20th-century factory-turned-residence boasted all the trappings of posh urban living, including large exposed beams, polished concrete floors, a flat galvanized steel façade with large hangar doors, and an interior courtyard. The project was so well received it won an AIA Chicago Building Honor Award in 2004.

Everything changed, however, when Bruce got married a few years ago. Suddenly, the bachelor pad needed an expansion to create a comfortable space for his partner, Lisa Wainwright. The newly-weds laid out two primary criteria for the new addition: the original house must remain unchanged, and the new space should provide fresh insights into the city surroundings and the couple’s relationship. The firm chose to add a vertical two-story addition to the existing horizontal structure, housing a bath, dressing room, kitchen, private sleeping room, and study. The final scheme represents elements of both Bruce and Lisa's personalities, existing together in perfect visual harmony.

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