A desire to clearly express the beauty of simple honest construction and basic materials characterizes this gut renovation of a 1950s ranch house in a lakeside Michigan community. Exposed wood trusses, polished concrete floors, zinc coated walls and roofing, galvanized metal grating, and white stucco are offset by crimson red casement windows. A screened porch - the epicenter of this summer home - distinguishes the street side facade and provides a direct connection to the gardens surrounding the house. A geothermal well feeds a radiant heating system embedded in the floor. Structurally insulated panels fabricated offsite provide a superior level of thermal protection. Local sourcing was used whenever possible for supplies including the windows, cabinetry, drywall, concrete block, trusses, and metal work.
What was the brief?
To reinvigorate a much loved but much dilapidated cottage owned by the client since the early 1970s.
What were the key challenges?
Maintaining the character of the original structure in the renovation.
Much of the structure of the house is fully exposed which required extra care in the detailing of connections.
What are the sustainability features?
Renovating rather than tearing down the original structure is inherently sustainable. The house features a geothermally heated radiant floors, and high R-value insulation. The structurally insulated roof panels were installed in one afternoon.