Wicker Park "Pod" House Wins Big at Small Projects Exhibit

"Not Everyone Needs a Skyscraper," says the AIA Chicago Small Practitioner's Group. It's true. You might want a living room rehab or an art studio in the sticks. These are just a couple of the winners on display at the current Small Projects Exhibit where you can see big design ideas from tiny firms.

Living Room of Wicker Park Pod House Winner of AIA Chicago Small Projects Award

Photo by: Darris Harris Living room of the Wicker Park home from the Blender Architecture firm. They won first place in the additions/remodeling category.

If you have a Love Jones for design and architecture, do a little daydreaming at the AIA Chicago Small Practitioner's Group annual Small Projects Awards showcase. For three years running Chicago architecture firms (nine or fewer architects on staff) give the public an eye full of what a small company can do. This season AIA had to judge 107 entries for its 2013 program. Blender Architecture won in the additions and remodeling category for its Wicker Park "articulated pods" home. Commissioned by owners Martha and John Kramer, the gut-rehab converted the 3,600-square-foot penthouse into a flowing interconnected space.  

Kitchen of Wicker Park Pod House Small Projects Award

Photo by: Darris Harris Kitchen of the Wicker Park penthouse. It feels retro (those curvy chairs) and contemporary (bamboo art divider) with the exposed brick and sleek cabinetry.

Check out all the new-construction entries but don't miss the $100,000 art studio in the woods, or one of our faves, the winner in the small object category: a whimsical 25-foot denim wall shaped like a pair of snug jeans (at least that's the look they're going after). Worthy of its own handbook are the planning notes from winners Kuklinski + Rappe Architects for its "The Very Expensive Refrigerator" entry in the kitchen category.

The Small Projects Exhibit is on display until Aug. 22 at 23 E. Madison St. 

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