Not Everything Going Up In River North is Tall and Shiny

Basecamp (Courtesy of Ranquist Development Group)

Basecamp (Courtesy of Ranquist Development Group)

For a lot of fairly obvious reasons, we pay a lot of attention to the tall, shiny, sky-scraping buildings mushrooming up all over River North.  But not everyone attracted to downtown living wants to live where the air is rare.  And for those, there are a growing number of low-rise and mid-rise condo options as well as new townhomes.

One of the newest projects completed in the neighborhood is called Basecamp, at West Oak Street and North Cleveland Avenue.   Ranquist Development Group describes it thusly:

The rowhomes and condominiums are designed with one to three stories in order to accommodate varied and diverse lifestyles. Thoughtful consideration was given to the way people interact in and around the project. On the interior, the open floor plan promotes interaction between family members and allows for considerable space to host a variety of activities. On the exterior, the communal walkways and front yards allow residents to interact with their neighbors and build a community. The roof decks provide residents with generous outdoor living space that also has incredible views of the city. The project is designed in a modernist tradition, of which environmentally friendly materials play an integral part. Concrete, steel, glass and wood can be found throughout the homes in a variety of details. The floor to ceiling windows provide the homes with plenty of light and air, and make urban living more sustainable and comfortable.

The project was designed by Pappageorge Haymes, which has its own description:

Based on Chicago’s modernist architectural traditions, Basecamp River North focuses on efficient living, using high quality materials and building to a human scale. These values can be seen through- out the project, from the pedestrian walkways, to the open oor plans inside the homes. In this tradition, Basecamp consists of 48 two or three story luxury rowhomes with two-car garages. The units include roof decks as well as floor to ceiling windows, balancing a life with privacy and social integration. On the former site of the Cabrini Green public housing projects, the development team promoted socio-economic diversity by building 10 units that are financially accessible to a wider clientele. These units maintain the same level of detail on the exterior and only vary slightly with interior finishes. The scale of the project contrasts the density of nearby high-rise buildings and creates variation in the urban landscape. By constructing a low-rise project, we were able to create a pocket in the city that is full of light and air, and maintains unobstructed views of the city. Natural materials, such as concrete, steel and wood, make up the project’s pallete, simultaneously performing on a sustainable level as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Evidence of this aesthetic can be seen throughout, from the facade to the detailed railings and kitchens. Overall the project focuses on functionality and has achieved in improving the quality of life for its residents, the surrounding community and the city of Chicago as a whole.

Please to enjoy the following pictures, courtesy of Ranquist Development Group.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

Share This Post On