Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune featured a fantastic article on the benefits of community planning in new urban developmehts:
Deal Estate: The Blog is the online extension of Chicagomagazine’s monthly “Deal Estate” column, which is written by Dennis Rodkin. On the blog, Rodkin—who has been covering the local housing scene for Chicago since 1991—provides timely updates on new homes to hit the market, recent high-end sales, and other residential real-estate news from the city and suburbs.
Read Dennis Rodkin’s Deal Estate Article
Our Sarah Susanka designed showhouse on SchoolStreet was recently featured in Realtor Mag! Make sure to check out the article and watch the video tour by Sarah herself.
Designing on a Human Scale
Wasted living space expelled from SchoolStreet design
Sarah Susanka delivers. For more than a decade the architect has been designing “Not So Big Houses” and writing books about them.
Fans have studied the pictures, reread the texts and tried to imagine exactly what she had in mind.
For people in the Chicago suburbs, the wait is over. The first “tract” house designed by Susanka is built, decorated and open for tours.
SchoolStreet and the Not So Big® Showhouse were featured on the front page of the Sunday Real Estate Section of the Chicago Tribune.
Living large in less space
New Libertyville house showcases architect Susanka’s ‘not so big’ principles
For the past 12 years, architect Sarah Susanka has espoused the need for houses that are smaller, yes, but also more practical and eminently more livable.
She’s written books, given presentations and worked privately for homeowners. Now, with the era of the McMansion in the rearview mirror for many, Susanka has partnered with a Chicago-area developer to construct a “not so big” home in Libertyville to show consumers what she has been talking about all these years.
The showcase home, located at the 26-site SchoolStreet Homes development under construction a block east of downtown, is open for weekend tours until May 20…. Read the rest of the article here
‘Not So Big House’ takes center stage
Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
Updated: November 19, 2011 – 2:34 PM
Sarah Susanka wanted to show people how they can live comfortably with less space.
So the celebrated architect and author of “The Not So Big House” series of books designed a showhouse in SchoolStreet, a new housing development in Libertyville, Ill., which opened for tours this week. We chatted with Susanka about “better-not-bigger” design, strategic wall color and the house of the future….
Read the Interview:
Despite the gray skies, and blustery weather, over 500 people showed up to get the first glimpse of the Not So Big® Showhouse, and meet the architect, Sarah Susanka.
If you didn’t have a chance to see it today, there is another open house Sunday from 1-4pm.
Spread the word, and come see Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big® design concepts firsthand!
Sunday , November 20 1-4pm
138 School Street
Libertyville, IL 60048
Not So Big® Showhouse architect Sarah Suanaka, and StreetScape’s John McLinden sat down with Residential rchitect Magazine this week. Read the Original Article
q + a: sarah susanka, faia, and john mclinden on the not so big showhouse in libertyville, ill.
by: meghan drueding
On Nov. 19, Sarah Susanka’s 2,450-square-foot Not So Big (NSB) Showhouse in Libertyville, Ill., will open to the public for six months. The house is part of SchoolStreet Homes, a community of 26 single-family homes and 15 lofts. residential architect’s Meghan Drueding spoke with Susanka and SchoolStreet’s developer, John McLinden.
ra: What sets SchoolStreet apart from other developments?
jm: Three key things: One, we purchased the property out of foreclosure, so we have a price advantage. Two, we’re adjacent to fabulous, vibrant downtown Libertyville, a town of 22,000 people. Three, the product. We have an architect-guided process. We have architects on staff as well as working with different firms.
ss: The quality of the architects is excellent. They’re not just giving lip service to design. A house can have less square footage, but it’s got to be better quality. John has 21 of 26 homes sold and has increased prices by 15 percent to 18 percent. Quality is what people are looking for, and a sense of community.
ra: Sarah, how did you come to build the NSB Showhouse there?
ss: I was looking for a developer who really got that quality and character are important. I told John my desire to do a show house that was available for the general public to go through. I did a show house at the International Builders’ Show, but nobody but the trade knew about the house. I wanted someplace where I could have a showcase that would be open at least six months, so that people could kick the tires.
ra: What are some of the key design features of the NSB Showhouse?
ss: The size [2,450 square feet] was very intentional. When downsizing comes up, the press goes to the far end of the spectrum and talks about tiny houses. A minute segment of the population is ever going to live in tiny houses. A big segment of the population is looking at 3,000- to 5,000-square-foot houses. They don’t want to go much smaller.
I’m trying to show that if you eliminate the spaces you rarely use, you can actually have a house that lives large. I like to show a really, really comfortable 2,300- to 2,500-square-foot home. You make that home by eliminating formal living spaces, by having an “away room” where you can go to be quiet and get away. You have the home be accessible. You have it be close to downtown so you can age in place.
One of the main floor plan ideas for the NSB Showhouse is that there is no formal dining room. You can take the dining table and move it into the library alcove and extend as needed. Also, there’s a lot of ceiling height variety, rather than walls, to indicate different spaces. And the stair tower becomes a light shaft from the third floor.
ra: Why Libertyville?
jm: Libertyville is a pedestrian kind of town. Out of the New Urbanist playbook, the homes at SchoolStreet are positioned close to the street to encourage pedestrians. It really does that. There’s kind of a romance to a front porch … front porch parties have already started to break out.
ss: In Libertyville, almost 30 years ago, people in the community started to focus on how to keep their Main Street vital. Its downtown doesn’t feel like a suburb. It feels like its own entity. It’s a cool place to come to.
ra: Is the NSB Showhouse for sale?
ss: In early 2012 the house will be released for sale and we will release the sale price then. But it will be open on weekends to the public for six months. We will have events where people can learn about SchoolStreet and the NSB house concept.
excerpt taken from Residential Architect, November 17, 2011: