Chicago architecture has long been associated with the skyscraper — towering masterpieces by a roster of greats, including Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe. Less often discussed are the single-family residences many of these architects designed in the city’s deeply wooded suburbs, where the connection to nature could be more closely felt through glass walls and their “less is more” design aesthetic.
Often hidden from sight and invisible from roads, streamlined glass boxes in places such as an exercise room, steam room, wine closet and golf simulator room, plus areas for gathering and TV viewing. Every detail throughout the contemporary mansion has been hand selected to create a place of comfort. Smart home technology and eco-conscious features such as solar panels have been seamlessly integrated throughout the home so as to make a minimal impact on the environment. “There has not been one element overlooked in the design of this house,” says McKenna. “The buyer of this residence will be someone who appreciates the value of this sleek, contemporary architecture, and the superb luxury lifestyle that it offers. It would cost almost triple the list price to build today.”
Plano, Highland Park, Glencoe and Hinsdale have continued to provide contemporary architects with a landscape for living, even today. Evidence of their influence on residential architecture continues to arrive in the form of 21st-century single-family homes — like this cutting-edge glass masterpiece in Hinsdale, recently listed by Dawn McKenna of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Hinsdale.
Built in 2008 and designed by architect Mike Siegel, the residence pays homage to contemporary linear architecture and the International style once championed by Mies van der Rohe. It stands at a monumental 10,161 square feet, overlooking Southeast Hinsdale Pond, with a striking facade characterized by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, giving the exterior and interior a museum-like ambiance. “The combination of square footage and location make this residence a triumph in every way,” notes McKenna. “It is extremely rare to have so much living space on Elm Street — one of the most coveted streets in town. The privacy and serenity also make this home very special. There’s nothing else like it in Hinsdale.”
Breathtaking views, the simple beauty of the architecture and attention to detail expressed in the highest quality of finishes combine to bring an extraordinary lifestyle into focus. Upon entry, you are drawn into ever-widening panoramas of the pond via expansive walls of glass. Rooms unfold to the surrounding environment from every direction — the kitchen, the family room, the living room. A flowing, open-concept floor plan wraps around a pavilion with an infinity lap pool, providing further connection to the outdoors. An open, state-of-the-art kitchen is equipped with white custom Boffi cabinets and stainless-steel counter-tops, as well as Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances.
Large entertaining spaces on the main level are light-filled and bright. Voluminous gallery spaces provide plenty of wall space for artwork. Take the dramatic floating staircase up to the second level, where you will find five gracious bedrooms. A spacious master bedroom suite beckons with a private balcony, large closet with boutique-style storage island and sleek five-star-worthy bath. The lower level offers an ideal space for amusement and relaxation.
By Alyson Pitarre
This article originally appeared in Homes & Estates magazine.