The top two levels of a mid-rise structure about to start construction in the heart of Chicago’s River North District will become a generously scaled penthouse residence. The elevator entry to the residence opens directly onto a sculptural steel staircase which fronts a wall of south facing windows that celebrates an unhindered view of the Loop skyline. A series of wood clad pods define a circulation spine that runs through the main level.  These volumes are the workhorses of the plan, serving to obscure mechanical risers, house hidden storage, and accommodate the tall kitchen appliances. With these functions taken care of, the rest of the public space is left to be open and allowed to extend out onto two large balconies.  The pods also minimize the need for partitions to extend out to the perimeter glass walls. A combination of hidden and exposed lighting serves to define sections within the otherwise open space.  The clients, a couple with grown children, sought a flexible yet personalized space, suited both for just the two of them as well as for large social gatherings.