The house was built without disrupting the protected sand dune. Master bedroom in the tree tops. Superb veiws to Lake Michigan.

Lake House in the Woods
Vacation Residence
Covert, MI
Project: Design a weekend and vacation house.
Focus: The site is on Lake Michigan in a protected dune area. Strict regulations governed development of the property. Additionally, the owners wanted to preserve the natural setting. The house was to be used regularly to entertain weekend guests.
Solution: Regulations restricted the building site that was closest to the lake to a 900 square feet area. In response the house has three floors. Its placement on the site and the arrangement of fenestration maximize views of the lake and the woods. The entry is on the second level via a bridge from the parking area. Guests' rooms are on this level.

The living/dining area and kitchen are on the first floor and open onto a deck with a screened-in gazebo.

The third floor is the master bedroom suite. It is like a tree house set in the 90 foot oak trees.

The exterior is composed of glass and natural materials (wood sash, stone, darkly stained cedar shingles and cedar trim). The house blends with the setting or reflects it. Despite its height, it does not stand out in the environment.

Throughout, the windows frame views of the lake and woods. The vistas enhance ones appreciation and enjoyment of the site.

Accomplishments: Only one tree had to be removed to build the house, which becomes a part of its site, disappearing into the trees. The owners spend nearly every weekend there and are more and more appreciative of the house and its setting.


Project size: 2,200 sf

© 1996, 2003 Davis Associates Architects & Consultants, Inc.
53 West Jackson Boulevard,
Chicago, IL 60604-3606
Phone (312)922-6050

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