Lake Shore Drive House by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Urban infill at its best?

WKA Lake View

For such a special building lot – urban infill at a great address in a great city with rare views of a Great Lake – Wheeler Kearns Architects delivered a special residence.  With little description and only a squint-inducing drawing or two, the architourist has to trace their way through the images to get a true sense of what has been placed here.  Seemingly carved out of a block of stone, the formal rooms are quite open to the urban parkland, yet the exterior terraces and meeting spaces are somewhat elevated, offering additional privacy. Nothing is described of the basement spaces nor the apparent rooftop terraces, which must surely be the light at the top of that alternate-tread staircase.


Lake Shore Drive House by Wheeler Kearns Architects
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Lake Shore Drive House by Wheeler Kearns Architects 41.936763, -87.637384 Lake Shore Drive House by Wheeler Kearns Architects


Original Google Street View Date: July 2011

Google Street View and Bing Street Side both capture Lake Shore Drive House.  The street images also show developer’s signs around the corner on Lake Shore Drive that indicate three new neighbours will soon join this Wheeler Kearns Project.


Bing Bird’s Eye shows the building lot as a parking area adjacent to a structure that has been removed.


Google’s satellite view imagery shows something of the landscaping that has been achieved by the crew in the Street View scene; also foundation work on the first of three new neighbours to the north.


Bing Map Gallery


Google Map Gallery


Property Location

Lake View, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Lake View, Chicago, IL



Lake Shore Drive House by Wheeler Kearns Architects

From the architect:

Located in Chicago, this single family residence on Lake Shore Drive opens directly onto the parkway with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan.

The house takes its form from its site; the base of the residence is rendered as a solid mass, forming a plinth that grounds the house on its prominent corner location. The plinth is carved into and becomes more open towards the lake side of the house. An interlocking volume that rises from the plinth reinforces the opening toward the lake; as the volume springs from the plinth, a double-high aperture is created that provides an expansive view from the living room towards Lake Michigan.

The split-level plan creates spaces of various scales and experiences that share in the east view towards the park and lake.


Site Size: 9,233 square feet
Project Size: 4,600 square feet (excluding basement)
Photos by: Steve Hall / Hedrich Blessing, Daniel Wicke