Gworek Residence


The Gworek Residence is a home for a family of four in Wilmette, IL. The house is L-shaped to maximize sun exposure and natural light. A primary design goal was to maximize natural ventilation and minimize both air conditioning and artificial lighting.

The house incorporates passive, photovoltaic, and solar thermal into the design. The large eaves shade the glass during the summer (see photos shot June 4th) and allow direct solar gain in the winter. The principle heating source is a geo-thermal system cross-tied into the solar thermal panels to provide radiant heat. The main staircase is open from the basement up to a third floor loft and acts as a chimney for natural ventilation for all floors.

The house is energy efficient as well as efficient in the use of materials. The wood framing for the house was FSC certified as was the wood for the cabinets and trim. The flooring is reclaimed heart pine. The roof is galvalume, with a high recycled content, and the exterior siding is cement based with an FSC cedar rainscreen.

Exterior plantings are native and there is a rain garden in the rear yard to ease site water runoff from storms.

General Contractor: Scott Simpson Builders
Photography: Leslie Schwartz Photography