Habor Country, Michigan

Located on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan’s southeastern shore, these two 7,000-square-foot homes on six acres expand an existing historic family compound that dates to the early 20th century. The Chicago clients desired sophisticated yet sustainable designs for these country retreats.

The steel frame houses were sited such that each family would inhabit its own private space, while the terraced land between the homes becomes a central gathering area. Since the land slopes towards the bluff, the first floors of the houses are stepped incrementally to follow the contours. A field stone path axially bisects this terraced area and terminates in a council ring or fire pit reminiscent of a favorite feature employed by Jens Jensen, the original landscape architect for the property. The partners also worked with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to carefully locate the houses to prevent dune erosion.

The two houses are each designed with a two-story central circulation “spine,” containing the stairway, which is flanked by living spaces. Entry for each home is centered on the glazed spine, which sets up axial views through the double height spaces onto rear patios and the lake beyond while flooding the stairwells with natural light. While each house is clad in mimetic materials, a rain screen of Port Orford cedar and white composite aluminum panels, each is also uniquely different in its material expression.

The homes feature low-VOC foam insulation used in conjunction with cellulose with a high recycled content, a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar panels to provide domestic hot water, radiant heat flooring on the interior, and green roof plantings.


Location:  Berrien County, Michigan

Completion Date: May, 2011

Gross square footage: House of Planes = 7000SF; House of Volumes = 6800SF

Tigerman McCurry Architects
444 North Wells Street, Suite 206
Chicago, Illinois 60654
T 312.644.5880

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Margaret McCurry, FAIA (principal in charge, registered architect)
Stanley Tigerman, FAIA (consulting principal, registered architect)
Jeremy M. Hinton, AIA (project architect, registered architect)
Rachel Oleinick (House of Planes, project manager, NOT registered architect)
Megan Musgrave (House of Volumes, project manager, NOT registered architect)

Architect of record:  Tigerman McCurry Architects

Interior designer: 
House of Volumes: Margaret McCurry, Tigerman McCurry Architects
House of Planes: Mary Luby, Mary Luby Interior Design
(323) 449-1581, maryluby@sbcglobal.net,
3278 Wilshire Blvd., #701, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Structural Engineer:  The Structural Shop – Kenneth Veach, SE

Mechanical/Plumbing/Electrical Engineer:  Building Engineering Systems – James Bess, PE

Landscape: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects – Peter Schaudt

Lighting: Architecture + Light – Darrell Hawthorne

Other: Home Automation – Buday’s Home Electronics Simplified – Ed Buday, Jr.

General contractor: Lakeshore Enterprises – Harold Herbstreit

Photographer(s): Hedrich Blessing Photographers – Steven Hall (312) 491-1101

Renderer(s): Tigerman McCurry Architects – Erik Martin

CAD system, project management, or other software used:  Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2005, Procore, 3D Studio Max



Structural system
Wood frame with steel moment frame. 

Exterior cladding
Masonry:  8” x 8” Glass block in clear by Seves (House of Volumes only)

Metal Panels:  Reynobond RSL 9000 series composite aluminum panels, rainscreen installation

Metal/glass curtain wall:  Kawneer 451 T storefront system

Rainscreen:  see “Metal Panels” and “Wood”

Wood: 2x4 Port Orford Cedar with custom mix of Cabot’s exterior wood stain, rainscreen installation, provided by Lakeshore Enterprises

EIFS, ACM, or other:  see “Metal Panels”

Moisture barrier:  Sarnafil “Lead Grey” PVC membrane

Elastomeric:  Sarnafil feltback membrane

Other:  Extensive green roof by Live Roof

Metal frame:  Kawneer 451 T storefront system

Glass:  Double-pane low-e provided by Midwest Glass

Energy management or building automation system: Tekmar control system

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Geothermal wells with GeoTec heat pump by Bard
Solar Hot Water collectors by Solargenix
Extensive green roof by Live Roof