Retreat, Sawyer Michigan
This vacation home in Michigan reclaims an existing farmhouse and barn and reimagines the structures into a new single-family house and adjacent studio for an artistic couple. Much in the same way the different functions of a farm are located in different buildings, the different activities of the retreat – sleeping, cooking, and working – were conceptually placed in separate volumes. These were then pulled together and spatially anchored by the site’s original barn which was refurbished to house the kitchen with an adjacent screened porch. Meanwhile, the original farmhouse was gutted and turned into an artist’s painting studio and sleeping loft. All portions of the house have a close relationship to the ground, making the landscape a vital part of the program. The orientation of the house creates multiple outdoor living spaces, plus a gardening area. The landscape and the orientation of the structures set up layers of space that move from the public way to privacy of the house. The most private space beyond the house embraces the expansive wooded site on three sides.