Filling Well

DePaul is an infill house in Chicago, built by Environs Development,

Architect Ken Brinkman's mantra is to pay homage to the neighboring houses.

The floorplan is long and narrow, but the spaces feel big.

Making the most of natural light is one of the best ways to make a townhouse footprint feel spacious.

Ample counter space is one way to make a rowhouse kitchen feel big.

The luxurious master bath has modern appeal.

Interior spaces have traditional trouches like moulding, but the overall effect is sleek.

A roofdeck provides the ultimate urban luxury--private outdoor space that can be used rain or shine.

A smaller, humbler rowhouse that couldn't be salvaged stood in the original site. Brinkman pushed the setbacks but built according to zoning ordinances.

The house is wider than its predecessor. One of the ways to make the interior spaces live large is to design so there are clear sightfulines to exterior walls on either side.

Kensington is an infill house on a leafy street in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. It was designed by architect Wayne Visbeen.

The homes in this well-established neighborhood date from the 1920's, when Henry Ford began mass-producing automobiles in nearby Dearborn.

After being condemned, a Tudor style house that was on the property was torn down, and the land was purchased by a couple intent on building a home that was both traditional looking and green.

The four-square plan includes a traditional, screened-in porch.

Details like built-ins and windows that vary in size contribute to the home's classic appeal and make the house look like it has been a part of the neighborhood for a long while.

The home was right-sized to fit its corner lot and measures 3500 square feet.

A historic site along Washington DC's Connecticut Avenue blends old and new.

The front of the condos are traditional brick facades. At the back is a modern seven-story section that contrasts with the facade.

But the firm, which is committed to a style that they term "contextual modernist," shows that contrast can be companionable.

A courtyard with parking undernearth links the old townhouses with the building.

It was important to area preservation groups that the new building not overpower its environs.

Woodley Wardman consists of 39 condos, with 16 in four historic townhouses and 23 in a 7-story tower to the rear.

Four vertical rows of bay windows, modern dormers, staggered building tiers, and a light color brick with dark accents give a hat-tip to the old buildings that surround this new one.

"The layout resembles a jigsaw puzzle," says developer Julio Murillo, which allowed for more open, varied plans on multiple levels.

Within the gutted townhouses, units run horizintally across buildings.

Woodley Wardman is steps away from a Metro stop and the National Zoo, and is walking distance from shops and restaurants.

Developer Peter Englanderpurchased a 50 by 130-foot corner lot in Mill Valley, a town of 13,000 that's 15 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Englander thought that the time was ripe for small detached condos on small lots.

There was outcry, however--Mill Valley residents were worried about density in their scenic downtown.

The duo allayed the community's concerns, moving the condos farther from the adjacent schools, church and park. They also designed homes that are stylish and comfortable.

Each of the four units measures about 1500 square feet.

The vernacular of the architecture is Shingle-style, but the condos require much less maintenance than the area's grand homes in the same style.

Finishings doff a cap to the fittings in a traditional Shingle-style home, yet they're fresh and updated.

The site plan plces parking spaces at the rear and out of sight. It also gives each condo its own garden space.

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