To retain the tranquility of the natural sloped site, the volumes of this vacation home are arranged to frame the horizon line of Lake Michigan to the west.

This vacation home in southern Michigan is designed as a retreat from urban living.

The axis of the main house emphasizes the view, while perpendicular elements such as the entry bridge, natural-cedar stair hall, and indoor/outdoor dining area add a richness to the design by bringing the outdoors to the interior Two volumes sit lightly atop a stone plinth and float gently in the bowl-shaped ravine. A series of framed views occur throughout the house capturing snapshots of the surrounding trees, lake, and ravine.

Exterior materials such as clear-finish cedar siding and blue stone ensure the house will weather naturally. Zinc exterior cladding and flashing provides a contrast of materiality with the natural wood and will age gracefully with a natural patina. Low-profiled green roofs on both the main house and the guest house further engage the volumes with the landscape. On-site geothermal wells power in-floor radiant heat and hot water to enhance energy efficiency. Reclaimed wood and flooring from a local Michigan barn gives the interior a warm feel.

West Elevation HandsketchWest Elevation
Carton ResidenceSite Plan
Interior HallHallway Facing West Michelle Litvin

A series of smaller framed views occur throughout rooms in the house that capture small snapshots of surrounding trees, lake, and ravine.

Beach Photo
Carton Residence2