Having grown up along the shores of Lake Michigan, the Owner had always dreamed owning a contemporary home that is nestled into the sand dunes along Lake Michigan. The core of the home was to have an open floor plan arrangement including a main living area, dining area, sitting area, and kitchen. In addition, a Master Bedroom, Master Bath, Office, Loft, two guest bedrooms, sauna, workout room as well as miscellaneous baths, stairs, and storage areas were to be included in the building program. These spaces were to be incorporated into a design that needed to be substantially maintenance free while evoking a festive beach-like quality.
Because of the narrow site, the design solution resulted in a four-level home that minimizes the footprint within the fragile dune environment. In addition, the multi-faceted façade provides for panoramic views from the majority spaces on each level. These panoramic vistas become more expansive and revealing as one progresses up to the loft. All the levels are unified, and anchored to the site by the visually strong fireplace massing.
The exterior of the home is a Mondrian-like composition featuring a palette of color and transparency within a rigid geometric grid of white trim. Mill finish aluminum panels provide for an ever-changing kaleidoscope effect that at one moment reflect the bright sunlight while when viewed from another angle are saturated with the blue sky and surrounding environments. Bright yellow corrugated panels are sprinkled into the composition and reflect the wild flowers strewn into the dune environment. The roof is sheathed with a combination of the mill finish and fiberglass panels. Wide 4 overhangs evoke a sense of shelter, yet these translucent panels add another level of transparency to the composition and allow plenty of light to filter into the rooms. The use of corrugated, low maintenance, industrial materials appears to contrast the surrounding environments, yet the corrugated pattern itself is reflective of the expanses of undulating windswept sand that surround the home. This tension of contrasts sets up a dynamic design that is constantly changing in the way it is perceived in the natural landscape.