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Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021

Inside a chic, industrial-inspired penthouse loft with skyline views

Inside a chic, industrial-inspired penthouse loft with skyline views

This penthouse loft apartment boasts 11-foot high ceilings, with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame city skyline views...
The property

An exceptionally chic full-floor penthouse in a Chicago high-rise, with a clever broken plan layout and sweeping city views from double-height windows. The striking home was designed by Chicago-based firm Wheeler Kearns Architects for two collectors.


After a lengthy search, the happy new owners came across this full penthouse floor of a Chicago high-rise, featuring striking 11 foot high ceilings, a double height space looking south to the city, and 360 degree views.

They gutted the property back to a shell condition, then brought on Chicago-based firm Wheeler Kearns Architects to completely reconfigure the apartment.


Living space

The architects completely renovated this full-floor penthouse apartment into an eminently spacious residence for the two collectors. The owners, a couple who are lifelong collectors of modern and contemporary art and furniture, wanted a scheme that would showcase their extensive collection.


A sliding panel wall can be shut to separate the guest bedroom and TV area behind it, making this space feel a little more intimate.


The penthouse apartment features furnishings by Eames, Evans, Mies, Nakashima, Nelson and Wegner, and the artworks include a Harry Bertoia sounding sculpture.


The owners use this space to entertain, and regularly host philanthropic events in the space. Their brief for the architects was: “a home we love, have pride in, are comfortable in; ability to entertain graciously with simple elegance”.

As lifelong collectors, the brief also included finding space for numerous pieces of mid-century (to present day) furniture, sculpture, art.


A double-height wall of shelving houses personal books and objects, with a staircase spiraling up to a mezzanine level.


Together with the owners, the architects chose a non-directional end-grain walnut floor, providing the visual weight and durability of a factory. They then plastered perimeter walls for art, and added in perforated metal, slatted wood, and floating planes of fabric to provide acoustic absorption.



Steel storage, shelving, and the mezzanine balcony and staircase all add to the industrial-inspired look.


This broken-plan living space is the highlight of the apartment, with 11-foot high ceilings that feature floor-to-ceiling windows, framing city skyline views.


TV area

With the main focal point being the view, a separate seating area was created to form a cosy TV nook.


The TV isn't obviously visible – instead it's disguised behind a sliding painting, mounted above the fireplace.



Family room

But that's not the only place to catch up on films or TV – there's a separate family room, created for watching films and TV together.


A red backdrop helps make their collection of dolls pop.


Kitchen area

At the other end of the apartment is a large, open plan kitchen with a marble kitchen island, and a dining area just off it.


The architects opted for striking glossy red cabinets.


Home office

The home office for two is streamlined and chic, and boasts floor to ceiling skyline views.


Guest suite

A guest bedroom is sectioned off from the main living space by a pair of sliding wood doors – one to enclose just the sleeping area, and the other offers the option of including the TV area as part of the guest suite.


These barn / pocketing doors help to create a clever, broken-plan scheme that can open up when the space is needed, and be closed off for privacy.



Master suite

The master bedroom is strikingly chic, with floating bedside tables mounted against a modern wood panelled wall.


Dressing room

The adjoining dressing room boasts a dressing room island, crowned by Louis Poulsen's classic Artichoke pendant light.


Master bathroom

The marble-clad bathroom offers his 'n' hers sinks, and more skyline views beyond the floating mirrors.




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