Who says people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones?
For the past 2 1/2 years, architect Stanley Tigerman has been having a love-hate relationship with his Ludwig Mies van der Rohe condominium on Chicago's Gold Coast.
In one breath, Tigerman says he "hates" Mies' modern glass houses. Tigerman, known as one of Chicago's top seven architects, reveres Renaissance and Palladian styles.
Depending on his mood, he also holds Miesians -- people who enjoy Mies' works and live in the twin glass-and-steel lakefront towers -- in contempt.
"Miesians are so boring -- and serious," said Tigerman, in mock earnestness.
A moment later, however, Tigerman says he "loves" living in the twin towers, because they typify Mies' modern, open architecture. And, he admits, he really loves the buildings because they are filled with Miesians.
"I love reversals," said Tigerman. "Living amongst your enemies is the best way to clarify who you really are."
"This apartment has made me reclarify my attitudes on architecture, life, human frailities -- the spirit of the age, and all of that," he said.
Tigerman's two-bedroom "think-tank" grew out of a one-bedroom bachelor's pad. Last year, after the architect married interior designer Margaret McCurry, he fell in love with the studio next door, bought it and knocked down walls to expand their living space.
Today, the penthouse is a cook's and librarian's dream. It has two kitchens -- one near the front door and one off the bedroom -- and a collection of more than 3,000 books.
"The extra kitchen is great for entertaining," McCurry said.
The Tigerman's not only throw one or two large parties a year, they also often entertain friends traveling through town and Stanley's two children by a previous marriage.
"Stanley teaches at University of Illinois Circle Campus, and many times when his colleagues are lecturing at the university, they'll stay with us. And his daughter and son visit on weekends."
A plastic-laminated wall unit hiding clothes, books and other storables, divides the small guest bedroom from the dining and living rooms.
Inside the visitors' quarters is McCurry's beige couch-bed from her studio apartment, a dresser and an Early American chair, for when they married last year, the couple pooled their furniture.
"We've done almost no decorating since we moved in," McCurry said.
Tigerman added: "I have no particular attachment to the furniture. I mean furniture is nice, but I think books are where it's at."
The Tigermans sleep under a specially designed bookshelf-headboard that doubles as a room divider between Margaret's office and the master bedroom suite.
On one side of the unit, a queensize bed slips under the rectangular-archway of books -- Margaret's desk fits into the other side of the bookshelves.