Domestic Explorations: Ardmore House + Columbus House 1

Architects Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow (Kwong Von Glinow) and Grant Gibson (CAMESgibson) will lecture as part of MAS Context’s 2021 Spring Talks series.

Domestic Explorations: Ardmore House + Columbus House 1

Thursday, January 28, 2021. Event starts at 6 pm.
Event will take place on Zoom

Domestic Explorations: Ardmore House + Columbus House 1 examines two recently completed residential projects in Chicago and Columbus, Indiana. These homes are the first ground up projects for the Chicago-based architecture offices of Kwong Von Glinow and CAMESgibson respectively.

The Ardmore House, a single-family house located on a typical Chicago lot, flips the programmatic status quo of the typical domestic section. This approach supports contemporary ways of living, emphasizing communal areas, interconnectivity, and flexible live-work spaces that receive ample natural light and engage the surrounding urban context. A curved double-height atrium runs lengthwise from front to back doors, creating an interior courtyard that vertically connects the common areas on the first and second floors. Defined by a large picture window and a curving wall, the courtyard offers an informal multi-purpose area where residents can relax and their children can play.

Just a few inches over seven feet tall, the modest Columbus House 1 introduces new affordable housing stock in the center of the small community with a world-renowned portfolio of Midcentury Modern architecture. Designed and constructed to have a mortgage payment that is affordable to those earning the national median household annual income of $61,000, the house has less than 1,000 sf of conditioned living space. With a sunken floor level, inset windows (with coordinated sight lines), a large skylight (allowing natural light deep into the plan), and a pinkish cream interior color produce a surprisingly expansive interior. While there are a number of subtle references to nearby iconic buildings in this home’s composition, none are as critical to the project’s success as the contradiction between how the building appears from afar and is experienced from within.

During this event, Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow (Kwong Von Glinow) and Grant Gibson (CAMESgibson) will present the explorations, motivations, and obsessions behind the designs.


Suggested readings

Chef’s Table – Massimo Bottura (Netflix, Season 1).

Jeffrey Kipnis, A Question of Qualities: Essays in Architecture (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2013).

Mark Cousin, Where is Everyday Life? (AA School of Architecture, 2012).

Grant Gibson, A Performed Memoir (Chicago: Graham Foundation, 2015).

Grant Gibson, “Introducing the Black Bird”MAS Context, Issue 32, 2020.


SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610