For city dwellers with a modernist bent, an apartment at Mies van der Rohe’s 990 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago is good fortune. Acquiring two is a coup.

Our Client purchased the first as an urban get-away, removing several partitions to enhance the light and view. Several years later an adjacent space became available, they snapped it up and went in search of an architect. The scheme that resulted is a loft space wrapped around a mechanical core, with views in three directions. The build out is minimal: baths and storage ringing the core and a massive kitchen island, a major social focus.

Guests enter directly into the kitchen, where the owners are often to be found hard at work, pursuing one of their many hobbies. Extensive greenstone counter tops and minimal upper cabinets contribute to the feeling of openness. Steel tiles provide a backsplash for the range and sink, where an extensive mirror keeps owners and guest in touch with one another. A sandwich of stainless steel supports a glass bar equipped with chairs designed by the owners’ son. Curving stainless bands overhead carry delicate low voltage lighting.

The master bath is wrapped in Frostlite, white vinyl laminated between two thin layers of glass. This allows for the transmission of daylight from the bedroom windows without a loss of privacy. Here the faucets extend from the mirror into huge porcelain bowls supported on a heavy sheet of glass and stainless steel legs. At the far end one steps down into a shower of greenstone. Here as elsewhere in the apartment a teak shelf over the inner wall provides light where it is needed.

The living room's curved teak wall hides a myriad of functions, from closets to audio/visual equipment to a full guest bath with built-ins of English sycamore for their storage needs. Guest bath walls are of green glass tile, the fixtures are Dornbracht, the toilet Starck.