The design challenge presented to us by the Owners was to add on to and renovate their existing home in a way that would enhance the views and sunlight, while maintains the regional cottage style vernacular harmony with the site itself. The vacation home, originally constructed during the 1970s on a parcel carved from the Lake site Swift Estate, no longer met the changing deeds of the Owners. In addition to the total renovation of the home, additional bedrooms, a breakfast room, and a large guest house were to be incorporated into the design. The Owners wanted their interiors to be a spatial light and view filled place which would make the forest and lake an integral part of the interior living experience.
As with all renovation projects, the efficient use of existing conditions in the final construction solution is a key element of good design. We tried to maintain the existing walls and window locations in balance with the renovated and added spaces in an overall balance of solid and transparent planes. We also shaped the main floor and other areas including the upper level master bedroom, bath, den/office and loft level backgammon room in relationship with the existing special volumes. The kitchen was enlarged and a breakfast room attached to a loggia and connected to a garage with upper level gust quarters. The entry trellis, chimney elements, and loft were organized to emphasize the dormered entry area and were balanced by the addition of the breakfast room. The chimney, den, fireplace, loft and main fireplace elements create a symmetrically playful sculptural entry sequence collage of painted trim and natural red cedar shingles, reminiscent of earlier shingle style cottages, but now reinvented in terms of light and view. The design, philosophically, is balanced between a pragmatically rational and poetically organic architectural expression. The homes presence from the entry side or the lake side is in harmony with and compliments its place on the Lake Michigan dunes.