SOM in the Press

SOM's Netsch House Renovation in Abitare Magazine

Photo © SOM Dave Burk

Source: Abitare Magazine

In the heart of old Chicago stands Netsch House, the eccentric residence built in 1974 by the architect Walter Netsch – known for daring designs like that of the Cadet Chapel at the United States Air Force Academy – who lived there until his death in 2008.

The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) firm, in which Netsch was a partner, has carried out a restoration of the house with the aim of maintaining its spirit while adapting it to suit the tastes of the new owners. The exterior, consisting of a simple “box” of exposed concrete and brick with triangular protrusions, encloses a space that is laid out according to the philosophy that its designer called “field theory”, based on a geometry that establishes complex relationships between form and function. On the inside, the high wooded ceilings amplify the space visually, while the skylights, which at first sight look as if they have been arranged at random, have in reality been studied to frame particular views and cast natural light onto specific areas in a way that is always new and unexpected, depending on the time of day and the season.

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