A two-story addition to a two-story single family residence in Chicago.  The design makes available south passive solar heating using the existing brick wall as the heat storage mass.  The space is used as an extension of the present dining room and a greenhouse with a powder room at the first floor.


This is 1150 SF residence floor over a similar size basement floor. Exterior walls are constructed using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF). Both floors are radiant heated with solar heated water supplied by solar thermal panels mounted on the roof. Passive solar feature delivers winter Sun’s heat to the mass of the concrete floors for heat storage and evening use. This building is built into the existing hill at North end of the property to take advantage of Earth’s near constant temperature.


This proposal is about transforming a section of a busy street serving 2 and 3 story commercial/residential buildings and turning the street into a public place for certain hours of the day and night. It is to provide a the missing public square, bringing people together, to further enhance social interaction, to begin forming a community in a defined environment, less noise, glare and with a degree of openness yet not enclosed. Yearly festivals, open air dining, outdoor store sales, seasonal farm produce stand every week and just walking and talking with out cars.


Presented here is a design to reshape the roof of this 2-1/2 story building to collect passive solar warmth and daylight by orienting the glazing to the South. This configuration will raise the ceiling height to a desirable height, (Present height is 7' at the center of the North-South ridge line.)


A proposed 4 story commercial/residential building for a Chicago urban property w/ ground floor commercial space connected to the adjacent building doubling the retail space, 2nd & 3rd floors providing dwelling units for University students, and the owner's unit on the 4th floor. The exterior walls, floors and roof are constructed using insulated concrete forms that will provide superior building insulation and reduction of air infiltration. A “green” roof will provide additional winter insulation and summer cooling as well as an outdoor garden for the inhabitants In addition there will be 2 solar heliostats capable of bending sun light bringing daylight into the buildings otherwise dark interior.


This residence is designed as a combined passive solar and solar hot water collector for domestic and thermal use. The north face, facing the street shows the building designed in context with the physical neighborhood. While the south face is configured to capture sun energy, and be mostly invisible to the street.


Designed in 1988 this energy conserving 15 story, 60 unit live/work building with 4 penthouses uses a roof mounted heliostat to direct daylight down into a 50' diameter interior atrium. Natural ventilation is used by streaming outside air through louvered grilles at the base of the apartment complex into the atrium and out the registers at the top of the building. All living units have the ability of cross ventilation. The open interior atrium forms a connecting place for people in the building. Other features include commercial occupancy at the ground floor, inside parking, and strategic placement of windows. Exterior walls are constructed from lightweight curved panels, pre windowed. A 100' x 200' property with access from 2 sides is necessary for the design shown, but the concept can be reconfigured many different ways to integrate with other urban properties.


As part of the Design Team of the Consortium, DUSAF, responsible for the design and contruction of the entire Fermilab complex. I conceived the First Design of the Central Laboratory, pictured here. This design adhered closely with the first building program developed by Robert Wilson and his staff. The Administrative officed at the top of the building with direct access from the vertical elevators. While the laboratories for visiting and in house physicists occupy the middle levels. The ground and lower floors are for general usage, i.e. auditoriums, cafeteria and coffee lounges, staff gathering rooms, lecture halls, entrance / reception area, visitor gathering areas, etc.


Midwest Center for Anthroposophilcal Studies, Chicago, IL. This is the 2nd design for a new building serving the needs of the society’s members. This new reinforced concrete building provides spaces to serve a retail shop that markets anthroposophically related books and products: a small theatre for society’s productions, a 2 story gathering hall and w/ balcony. A large green house space for a biodynamic vegetable and flower garden., teaching rooms and a members salon. “Green” or Sustainable design principles provide a healthy environment and reduced fossil fuel usage. Solar electricity, reuse of rainwater for garden and cleaning needs. Controls of intense west summer sun are provided by the design of the southwest building facade's glazing system.



Both a personal and public building, Howard Alan's Studio provides an environment aiding the pursuit of creative architectural thinking (personal) and demonstrates the practicality and delight of working in a daylit environment that uses 50% less energy than a similar spatial volume of my residence on the same property.(public). This passive solar building is constructed on the rear of my property zoned for business use in Chicago's Lincoln Park community about 1.5 miles East of Lake Michigan. The entire 2nd floor is designed to capture the sun's heat and store it in the masonry walls, the concrete floor, and the 5 fiberglass tubes of water. A radiant heating system is embedded in the concrete floors for back up heat. The building is insulated on the exterior side of the outer walls acting exactly like a winter coat to keep our body heat from radiating to a colder exterior. Howard Alan received an award for sustainable design for from the American Institute of Architects and the Union of International Architects in June of 1993.


The shape of this Gunite® concrete structure was determined by the configuration of the tree limbs surrounding the building site. Originally the purpose of this building was to be a storehouse, however as the structure was becoming real, my client redefined the purpose to become her tea house and meditation place.


Now a Chicago Institution! Constructed in mid 1970's this 2 story fire resistant structure is the only single use building devoted to retail tobacco sales in Chicago. In the 1990's we designed and built additional humidors on both floors, designed and installed new display cases and lighting. Since then the owner has made additional excellent changes to the interior. This can happen when the Architect and Client work together in trust.


Chicago's Lincoln Park provides a direct gain solar sitting room, a bathtroom and dressing room adjacent to an existing 4th floor bedroom increasing the size of the combined 3rd and 4th floor living unit.


1114 W. Oakdale Ave. Chicago, IL. Transformation of 3 apartment building to single residence.


2132 N. Fremont St. Chicago, IL. Remake of 2 story + basement row house.


Remake office space for Attorney's Suite. Space 2400 Xerox Building. 55 W. Monroe Chicago, IL. Architect provides construction management.


Interior design and supervision of new art gallery in raw space of the Blair Building, 645 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. Functioning in its original state for decades.


Remodeling of a 3 story Prairie School industrial building, originally a bakery to a present mixed use occupancy with ground floor commerical and 2nd and 3rd floor apartments.


This sculptural concrete deck and stair addition to a 12 unit apartment building provided a 2nd exit to the 6 front apartments. 5909 W Lake St. Chicago, IL. (Demolished)


60 Shore Drive, Burr Ridge, IL
A 43,000 SF, 2 story steel framed, sheathed with Cor-Ten metal siding. 4 offices for the 4 warehouse spaces open into interior atrium. The building also features handball court and locker room.




Copyright Howard Alan 2005