Designing a green kitchen in a converted 1880s schoolhouse sounds cool enough, but this one in Chicago looks even better than it sounds. The architects started by gutting the interior, exposing the brick bearing walls and old-growth wood structural joists. The resulting kitchen’s unique ceiling texture is complemented by bamboo cabinets and a 37-foot-long wood counter that was cut from a fallen silver maple tree. The countertop’s “live edge” lends an organic flavor. So do recycled elements such as furniture fabricated from salvaged gymnasium flooring and oak studs from a local farmhouse. The architects also reused lights salvaged from their own office renovation. But the space is not all second-hand; modern materials include an EcoTop paper-based island countertop, and 3form resin panels—bought from the manufacturer’s remnants section—in the appliance garage. For those cold Chicago nights, radiant heating embedded in the new concrete floor will keep the inhabitants warm and cozy.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.