Overlooking a finger of a private freshwater lake, this 4,550 square foot house for a general contractor and his family is sited over a former lakeside camp house that was continuously occupied during construction.
The design is generated by a subtle balance of tensions. Building volumes and the placement of windows, doors and balconies are not static but rather constitute an active three-dimensional composition in motion. Each piece of the building is a strong and clearly articulated shape defined by its program, such as the facetted wooden box that both encases the second story children’s bedrooms and cantilevers in two directions to carve out an exterior porch space below. The largely open interior is organized internally through a succession of spaces pierced with framed apertures of the lake. An excavation in the floor of the remaining structure knits the main level to the multistory living room and terrace level.
The project is in large part directly related to the topography and engaging the lake and shoreline, conceptually carving into the hill at points and breaking away from it at others. Consequently, the building becomes an abstracted reading of the landscape that contains it. Weighted materials buttress the house to the hill while weightless materials gesture to the water.
By creating strong visual and physical links between outside and inside, nature interlocks with the living spaces, blurring the boundary and creating a more dynamic relationship between the two.
Together, all of these components strive to establish an effectively layered composition rich in visual and formal interest.
Photos: Doc. David Jameson Architect