This lofty perch has an enviable vantage point from the top floor of a boutique, eight-unit mixed-use structure—just one of the building blocks in a larger urban revitalization effort known as “Urban Sandbox.” From it, one can’t help but savor a panorama of Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood and the Windy City skyline in the distance.

So the first rule in this kitchen, designed by Arclinea Chicago and the architects at Osterhaus McCarthy, was not to obstruct that killer view with bulky cabinets or appliances. To this end, the refrigerator, ovens, and pantry storage are arranged in a monolithic grouping that runs flush with the kitchen’s west wall, receding almost to the point of invisibility.

Foreground considerations were important, too, and on this matter the team had to concoct a design that integrated nicely with the building’s exterior perimeter steel and glass frame—a defining structural characteristic that was visible just outside the windows. The marble-topped sink counter, island, and steel vent hood achieve this so nicely that it almost appears as though the building’s deck grid has passed through the glass to become part of the interior space.

Entrant/Architect: Osterhaus McCarthy, Chicago Builder/Developer: Ranquist Development, Chicago Building design architect: The Miller/Hull Partnership, Seattle Kitchen designer: Arclinea Chicago LLC, Chicago