The house above Lake Michigan is built in the small town of Traverse City, USA. Rising on a wooded cliff, this building is a complex of three well-combined with each other structures.
The building has a living room, a kitchen and a covered terrace – the main bedroom and three children’s bedrooms make up two sleeping areas. The dining room connects all three units.
Delicate bends of the contours of the roof repeat the outlines of the surrounding landscapes and wittily cite the folk architecture of the nearby fishing villages. Rhythm, due to the location of wooden beams, can be traced in asymmetric vaults of the interior. In the southern part of the building, a six-meter cantilever roof extends over the terrace, providing a secure, unobstructed view of Lake Michigan and forest tracts nearby.
The scupper roof openings collect rainwater, drain and control erosion in this area. The geothermal heating system is elegantly integrated into the housing structure. The prevailing wind directions determined the layout of the windows, giving the advantage of natural ventilation since there are no air conditioners in the room.
Outside, the house is processed according to the traditional Japanese technology of roasting the wood surface “shou sugi ban”, which in Japanese means “cedar fretting”, therefore the dwelling is reliably protected from mold and bugs. The texture of the burnt wood and some parts of the facade dramatically increase the cast shadows, as the sun rises or sets.
Architects have found a use for dying ash on the site as a material for furniture, floor coverings, ceiling panels, and decoration works. The interiors of the building reflect the local landscape, improved thanks to new design strategies. A strict palette of vegetation emphasizes the scenic views. The local stone is used to designate outdoor recreation areas, paths, and stairs.