Michigan Residence

Buchanan, Michigan

This southwest Michigan lake house is rooted in the functional simplicity of surrounding farms. The overhanging corrugated metal roof shields the house from the elements while board and batten wood siding share a common vocabulary with nearby barns, cribs, and sheds. The three-bedroom, 1,800 sf house faces a small lake and is situated in a meadow and surrounded by a forest of maple, walnut, and poplar. Large glass sliders and a wraparound deck take in these serene views. Exterior colors play off tree bark and leaves while the interior brings nature inside, showcasing rustic third grade maple and pine.

The structural frame was prefabricated in a warehouse, shipped to the site, and erected with a small crane. The all-electric house has geothermal heating/cooling, passive solar winter heating, and natural vertical air convection. Only four trees were removed from the site—and later used for tables, stair treads, and bathroom vanities.