08 May 2020

Flexbrick shows up to Chicago South Loop

Chicago’s Printers Row, located in the South Loop neighborhood, is home to a large collection of former warehouses and factory lofts built at the turn of the century. Many of the buildings in this area were used by printing and publishing businesses. Today, the buildings have mainly been converted into residential lofts, builts of steel-frame construction and wrapped in beautiful brick, terra-cotta, and stone. As the area is one of the zealously protected historic districts in the city, the challenge for any contemporary project within such a setting is to establish a unique and identifiable identity while fitting into the larger context.

The Dearborn Residence, a single-family project designed by local architectural firm Filoramo Taslma Architecture, does just that, with playful massing clad in dark-gray brick and a hanging terra-cotta brise-soleil, developed by Flexbrick hand by hand with Shildan, our representative in the United States (using Fabrik® as brand name for this market).

The 3,500-square-foot site is positioned within downtown’s area. In accordance to the district layout, the prevailing facade material is dark-gray brick arranged in a stretcher-bond format and sequenced as a colonnade at the retail podium. As “The Architect’s Newspaper” reports, the rhythm of the colonnade rises to the second story, where openings screen and frame an outdoor terrace. Residential areas are largely illuminated by floor-to-ceiling glazing located on the south elevation. As a measure of privacy, and to mitigate glare from the curtain wall, the south elevation to shaded with a hanging terra-cotta screen Fabrik® by Flexbrick. The screen hangs from the top slab, and is made of 4-inch-tall and 6-inch-wide tiles.