The cottage is sited per sustainable site requirements to protect and restore habitat. Building materials such as insulated low-E window units and light-colored asphalt shingles minimize heat gain and reduce the heat island effect. Cement shingles and board and batten cladding utilize recycled content and provide lower life cycle costs. CCSF insulation enhance the energy efficient building envelope and high efficiency mechanical equipment further reduced energy consumption. Interior finishes complied with the specified request for no VOC.
Tenets of Scandinavian design were the inspiration for this cottage. The design and construction of the form and spaces were rooted in the spirit of the site and the result of an overriding attention to simplicity, functionality and economy.
Located just within the wooded edge of the Lake Michigan shoreline, on a buildable parcel not much larger than a standard city lot, the form expresses the compact yet comfortable arrangement of spaces. Finished in iron grey cement shingles and board and batten cladding, the cottage harmonizes with the surrounding woods; be it the dark colors and shadows of summer or the minimal starkness of winter. The footprint was extended as needed with gabled additions that sculpt the exterior; providing simple details and articulation with overhangs, bay window and recessed entry porch. Two over two windows are used strategically to both offer privacy and open interior spaces to expansive views into the woods. The interior’s soft white walls and neutral, earth tone finishes create a sense of calm. Wide plank character oak floors add a natural richness while charcoal porcelain tiles provide a durable material where necessary. Wood veneer and painted cabinets add warmth and provide design continuity. The fireplace, clad in travertine tile, contributes to the cottage’s understated elegance without distraction. A two-story screen porch fits under the gable roof form and its openness highlights the unique indoor/outdoor connection to the surroundings that is the essence of the project.