Architect Vladimir Radutny has renovated an apartment in the iconic 860-880 Lake Shore Drive complex by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Chicago, using a restrained palette to show off the architecture and the views. The 750-square-foot pied-à-terre is the second renovation that Vladimir Radutny Architects has completed in the modernist towers, which were completed in 1951 and are listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. After Unit 3E, the firm was asked to overhaul Unit 9C by clients who use the apartment as second home.

Radutny opted for a cooler palette for this project, and opened up the layout to maximise the floor space and direct visual focus to Lake Michigan outside. A partition separating the bedroom and bathroom from the living space was instead created with floor-to-ceiling translucent glass. The sleeping and washing areas are, in turn, divided by a wooden storage volume that appears to touch neither the floor nor ceiling.

Beside the entrance, a kitchen island against a wood-panelled wall extends past the corner into the larger living, providing a counter to eat at. Its base also seemingly hovers above the floor, and its back surface is mirrored.A circular freestanding dining table, a pair of lounge chairs and a couple more tables are the only other furnishing in the bright space, as everything else remains tucked away in cupboards.