CONTENTS Architect
Ellen Rockwell Galland AIA, principal of Rockwell Associates Architects, was the architect for the project.

Ellen Rockwell Galland has been a practicing architect since 1974 and has had her own firm, Rockwell Associates Architects and Planners, since 1980. The firm's office is located in a remodeled bakery in Evanston, Illinois. Matthew Rockwell, FAIA, FAIP, and executive director of the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission from 1963-1979, was associated with the firm in its early years. Contributing on this project were Marian Tweedie, Miriam Hostakova, Sari Lehtinen, Francisco Gonzalez and Rashmi Ramaswamy.

The firm's other residential work includes new single family homes as well as alterations and additions to existing homes in the Chicago area and in Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Colorado. Other projects include preschool and day care facilities, churches, offices, restaurants, and consulting on ADA compliance. The firm has had extensive experience working not only with individual clients but also with boards of directors and staff of not-for-profit organizations. Energy efficient design and construction continue to be of special interest.

In designing this house, a primary intention was to create a private courtyard toward the lake. Between the angled wings of the house are a ground-floor stone terrace and a second-floor balcony, both of which are screened from neighbors to the north and south. The angles creating the courtyard are at 30 degrees to the central plane of the house, which is parallel to the lake. They correspond to the summer and winter solstice angles.

Another important objective was to integrate the active solar systems into the architecture of the house as much as possible. The photovoltaic roof shingles are quite compatible with the non-solar fiber cement roof shingles. In order to provide the amount of photovoltaic power that the owner requested, the highest (third floor) roof was rotated off the main axis of the house to create a large south-facing roof plane for those PV shingles. The hot water solar collectors in the driveway, on the other hand, are not integrated into the architecture but demonstrate that it is not necessary to place the panels on the building itself when installing such a system.

The process of designing and building the house was intriguing and rewarding because of the research into sustainable building materials and solar systems that was integral to the project.

John Cavalier and Steve Sturm Contractor
Steve Sturm, president of Sturm Builders, Inc., was the contractor for the project. His foreman and lead framer for this project was John Cavalier (shown on the left).

Sturm Builders, Inc.
1900 Techny Road
Northbrook, IL 60062

Tor Faegre

Tor Faegre designed and constructed several key aesthetic elements for the project--the three-story bamboo and fir stair railing and screen, the metal facing for the hearth, a bamboo fence along the north property line, and the metal guardrails on the second-floor balcony and on the boat deck overlooking the lake.

Tor has worked for 30 years as a carpenter-cabinet maker, specializing in old house renovation and furniture for interior design. He has taught woodworking classes at Evanston and New Trier Township High Schools and currently teaches rustic furniture/sculpture workshops at the Evanston Art Center, Riverside Art Center, and Ox-Bow.

To Tor, furniture is an artistic way to express his belief in recycling. He forages and cuts down tree branches near railroad tracks and along the Chicago River. He cuts down only those trees "that grow like weeds," such as cotton wood, willow twigs and buck thorn.

Brandon Leavitt Solar Thermal Energy System
The active solar heating system was designed and installed by Solar Service, Inc., whose president, Brandon Leavitt, is shown here.

Solar Service (formerly Solar Energy Products) installed the first solar thermal system in Illinois in 1977 and pioneered the development of much of the technology utilized in today's solar systems. The company is the largest supplier of solar thermal energy systems for homes, apartments and businesses in the Midwest. Solar Service has designed and installed hundreds of systems in the Chicago area and over 1,000 nationwide, providing clean, low-cost energy for homes, multi-family buildings, and commercial businesses.

Mary Anne O'Meara Landscape Design
Mary Ann O'Meara was responsible for the landscape design and installation for the project.

Mary Ann O'Meara
Landscape Design and Installation
231 Dempster Street
Evanston, IL 60201

Website prepared by Eleanor Revelle and Ellen Galland.
Last revised: May 5, 2006