The House of Planes/The House of Volumes
Architects & Firms
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
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record: Tigerman McCurry Architects
Mechanical/Plumbing/Electrical Engineer: Building Engineering Systems – James Bess, PE
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
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
Other: Extensive green roof by Live Roof
Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: