849 Armitage Ave. Chicago, IL

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 day lit environment that uses 50% less energy than a similar spatial volume (public).


This passive solar building is constructed on the rear of Alan’s property zoned for business use in Chicago's Lincoln Park community about 1.5 miles East of Lake Michigan.


The building is insulated on the exterior side of the outer walls acting like a winter coat by keeping body heat from escaping to a colder exterior.  Howard Alan’s studio received an award for sustainable design from the American Institute of Architects and the Union of International Architects in June of 1993.


Studio View From Above


Studio View From Above
Northeast view at night


The entire second floor is designed to capture the sun's heat and store it in the masonry walls, the concrete floor, and the five fiberglass tubes of water. A radiant heating system is embedded in the concrete floors for backup heat.

Tanks of water absorb Sun's energy during winter days. As the space cools the absorbed heat is released warming the space and contained by the exterior insulation.


Sun rays in September warm the tanks of water, the concrete floor and the dense concrete block walls.


First floor meeting area with table designed by Alan


Second Floor seating area with furniture designed by Alan


Section of studio


Second floor plan


The application of wiring fiber optic cables to the perforated aluminum panels before fixing to the studio ceiling.


Studio ceiling in daylight


Studio ceiling at night


The ceiling decoration is a fiber optic lighting design in a spiral pattern.  This spiral galaxy is a reminder of where one is. 


Copyright Howard Alan 2005