Special Shapes Have an Impact on Architectural Design

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The completed seven-story Belmont Village Senior Living building



Architectural, planning, and interior design firm, Antunovich Associates, collaborated with Belmont Village to design Belmont Village Senior Living, located in the picturesque Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. The 120,500 square foot facility, part of the Lincoln Common, features 149 units consisting of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residences crafted to serve both assisted living and dementia levels of care.

Designing the new senior living community required Antunovich Associates to navigate multiple national, state, and local building and health codes, as well as U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. The exterior of the new architecture was designed to resemble the historic Nellie Black building that previously resided on the site, but trying to match the original building’s Flemish bond created challenges. The traditional way to construct this pattern of bricks would be to layer red stretchers and black headers alternately in each course.

Nathan Karaway, Vice President of Architectural Sales at Illinois Brick Company, approached The Belden Brick Company and our special shapes department with an idea for a one-of-a-kind product to effectively save time and labor costs and blend in with the aesthetic history of the neighborhood. The concept was a Norman size brick with two shades of color, red for the 7-5/8" modular stretcher, black for the 3-5/8" header, and a 3/8" false joint at 1/3 on one full brick.

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Because we had never done anything like this before, we had to make some upfront investments like new tooling and manufacturing processes. Partnering with Illinois Brick Company allowed us to create a product out of the norm for the architecture and design marketplace, specifically for those wanting to design highly unique buildings. The custom-designed, two-tone brick, which clad the exterior of the building, was also incorporated as a design element through key interior spaces such as the gathering room. The results speak for themselves, a beautiful, urban residential building in sync with its surroundings.

Sustainability: LEED Gold
Awards: 2019 Excellence in Masonry Award - Best of Brick and Best of Health Care/Scientific Research, 2019 Argentum Senior Living by Design Award

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