Dune Treehouse

This contemporary retreat for three generations of an extended family sits on a challenging 3-acre wooded dune along the southeast shore of Lake Michigan.  The home embraces the natural environment while sitting lightly on the dune and feels as comfortable when filled with family as when occupied by only two.  It accomplishes this on a site considered unbuildable after two previous owners had attempted and failed to construct homes.

State conservation regulations established the buildable footprint to a small area at the foot of a dune ridge that bisects the site and completely obscures views of the dramatic topography beyond. The solution is essentially a single-story home elevated above the dune ridge and cantilevered at each end from the black concrete volume that supports it.  An open stair rises from the ground floor entry to a large living space bookended by a primary suite at one end and guest rooms at the other.  An elevator connecting the entry foyer to the main level is available when needed.

The linear form of the home was further manipulated to respond to site conditions, with the guest wing rotated away from a neighboring home to enhance privacy, and the primary suite rotated to capture dramatic views of a ravine to the west.

Architecture:
Semple+Rappe

General Contractor:
Estkowski Construction

Photography:
Tom Harris Photography

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