It must be an architect's dream to come across a client who not only cares about nature and sustainability, but also knows a thing or two about design. Balance Associates had just such a client and worked with them and a local contractor to come up with a residential program that both respects and even enhances the lakeside environment in which it was placed. The Tower House overlooking Glen Lake in Michigan is a three-story, 1,400-square-foot plywood box clad with metal fins and topped with a glass-enclosed crown that boasts astonishing views.
The Tower House was placed on top of a wooded hill where it is possible to spot Lake Michigan on a good day. The client wanted to build a “sustainable retreat” that would preserve the area’s “timeless beauty” and “simple comforts.” The tall and narrow plywood shell is clad with supporting steel walls that prop up the house, which is lifted an entire story above grade.
A central stair meanders from the lower outdoor level to the interior, from enclosed spaces to the glass-enclosed crown. Given that it stands 30 feet above ground, this tranquil birch-lined kitchen, living and dining space on the fourth floor affords tremendous views over the treetops, not to mention a flood of natural light. Cantilevered decks establish yet another connection to the outdoors.
Via Arch Daily
Photos © Steve Keating