Design Awards / Dogwood Residence
Residential Architecture: 2016 Winner
Location: Ada, Michigan
For a young family of four that enjoys spending time outdoors, the highly wooded site that was once their favorite camp spot became a perfect location for their new residence. One of the challenges given by the client was to maximize value for the given budget in regards to the scope and volume desired while delivering a distinctly modern and unique project. The design team addressed this by splitting the home into two main volumes both capable of being simply spanned in the short direction. A 2-story volume, which holds the sleeping and service areas, was treated with low maintenance and cost-effective materials and punched openings. This allowed for a greater investment in design and construction to be spent on the lower 1-story element and most meaningful areas: entry, living/eating area, and its interface to the outdoor living area. The entry sequence was carefully considered. Visitors wind through the dense woods and up some incline to where the home is fully revealed. A careful layering of masses and roof forms gives the home appropriate scale against the backdrop of the tree line beyond. The garage is hidden from view during the approach, and the entry gives visitors the ability to see through the house into the site. Horizontal custom profiled cedar and cement board accent panels clad the 1-story volume, while corrugated metal panel wraps the 2-story element. Public and private areas of the home are adjacent, but distinctly separated by a change in level and exterior material palette. A corner opening sliding wall system adjacent to the double-sided masonry fireplace of the living room gives options for gathering around a warm fire. A careful and strategic approach to the owner’s goals and desires ultimately led to the design of a unique modern home perfectly suited to the site and its occupants.