We enthusiastically anticipate ground-breaking for Bridge House near the shores of Lake Michigan on a wooded lot in Douglas, Michigan. Our clients have enjoyed vacationing in the area for years, and have thus decided to build their dream retreat to semi-retire to the area, moving from their current home in Zionsville, IN. We have been working on the project since fall 2017, and it has been a pleasure working with these special clients!
This one will absolutely be worth checking back for progress, so we’ll be sure to post regular updates!
Project Info – Bridge House:
Architecture/Renderings/Photography: HAUS | Architecture
Interior Architecture/Finishes: HAUS with Design Studio Vriesman (and Client)
General Contractor: TR Builders
Photos + Renderings: HAUS except where noted otherwise
The lakefront area is mostly a seasonal retreat with bed & breakfasts and rental cabins with a sprinkling of full-time residents. So in winter, not many people are around. This day was stunning, but the stiff breeze from the lake was chilling.
Assembling an excellent team that communicates effectively and enjoys working together is a recipe for success.
Note from Dr. Lance Trexler (Owner/Client):
“My wife Laura and I have had a fabulous relationship, but we were coming up on a new stage of life where we really wanted to live in a way that really captured what was most important for us. We specifically wanted a very contemporary feeling that was open, maximized natural light, and set the stage for all of the art that we enjoy. We also wanted to bring nature into the house as much as possible. HAUS and Chris Short immediately captured the goal and created what we feel is not only exactly what we imagined, but much more. We are so excited to see this house evolve.”
Our first opportunity to see the site in-person occurred in October 2017, early in the design process. It was certainly important that we get a lay-of-the land first-hand. On prior visits, our clients had already verified that Theo and Piper approve of the location!
We were fortunate to meet Tom Rigney (T.R. Builders) through another of our clients while working on their Michigan property a few years ago (Gull Lake Island). We enjoy Tom’s excellent communication and sincere interest in good collaboration and were confident that our pre-existing relationship would translate to the Bridge House project . Tom has recently worked on houses by Architects from Chicago and Michigan, including John Eifler, FAIA (Eifler & Associates, Chicago), who is known for historic renovations to homes and buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, George Maher, Walter Burley Griffin, John Van Bergen and Louis Sullivan. Tom is also just finishing-up a residential project by Norman Carver, Jr, an esteemed Architect from Kalamazoo, Michigan who designed many Mid Century Modern masterpieces from Michigan to Palm Springs, California beginning in the early 1950’s. TR Builders has a great sense for detail, so we are confident having the construction in Tom’s hands.
We’ll share more of the actual design process in the coming months. HAUS completed this sketch below in December 2017 as we were nearing the end of the SD-Schematic Design process.
At this point we had explored a few design concept options and were leaning to this one. We had an overall scope established, and were in the process of reviewing budget options with the GC.
Since we had such a natural, untouched, landscape, one original goal was to tread as lightly as possible. As one can see here, the initial excavation is still making an impact. The east portion of the project sinks into the land for basement which anchors the house to the ground laterally. Then the remaining 65% of the house will hover on stilts over the landscape. TR Builders cleared a few trees for the construction as well, in addition to a few in poor health. In the end, we’ll be able to re-establish the original grades and supplement with native landscape. We are working with a local landscape company on the final site design strategy.
Basement walls have been completed, so next steps are to include garage area + bridge piers.
We will continue with updates as construction progresses, so please check-back for the latest Bridge House news!