Project Details

Square Feet

Single Family Residence

Lincoln Square,
Chicago, IL


Services: Design and construction

What happens when you love the style of an industrial loft, but want to live in a single-family home with space for gardening? You create your very own Urban Prairie, that’s what!

This project juxtaposes the urban edginess of Chicago with the naturalism of an Illinois prairie, and beautifully demonstrates how two seemingly different concepts can successfully work together. The building is the backdrop for all that surrounds it, and the dark colors amplify the life that exists here.

The landscaping for this project spans the perimeter of the ground level (front yard, parkways, gangways, backyard), interior courtyard, back terrace, and rooftop. The exterior landscaping coincided with the completion of the home’s construction.

The goal for the front of the residence was to evoke a sense of the prairie, amongst birch trees and Penn Sedge. The granite paving runs from the sidewalk, clads the front stairs, and ends at the front door, which is flanked by two planters that boast a rotation of annual plantings. The lighting throughout the entire property is intentionally subtle and evokes a quiet ambiance. Additionally, to provide functionality and simplicity, the parkway is planted with a variety of Hostas and covered with pebbles.

The prairie concept is fully realized in the backyard, with a fantastic mix of native plants and other cultivars resulting in a colorful, luscious garden. From Echinacea, Monarda, and Hydrangea to climbing Sweet Autumn Clematis, Junipers, and a few planters for seasonal rotations, the space is bursting with plant life. Oh, and let’s not forget to add that our client plants vegetables in any open spaces that can be found in the landscape beds!

The backyard stairs lead to an outdoor dining and kitchen area. Much like the interior of the home, the simplicity of the space is a perfect match for the vibrance and vitality of the garden. The inner courtyard’s two upper openings boast window boxes that are planted with tropical plants each summer. Additional containers hold a mix of summer tropical plants, as well as a specimen Japanese Maple tree.

The prairie theme continues on the upper rooftop, with more controlled plantings of grasses and playful evergreens, plus a few more planters for seasonal rotations that add another layer of color and texture.