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- Michigan City
For decades, the woods and fields of Southwestern Michigan and Northwestern Indiana, with their close proximity to Lake Michigan, have offered Chicagoans weekend reprieves from urban intensity – and a short travel distance. To gain a sense of rural privacy, the owners were looking to experience pastoral views of nature and foliage, more than lake views, in searching for their vacation property. They were fortunate to find the land that fit their aesthetic aspirations and turned to Brininstool + Lynch to design a home that would similarly match their concepts for living.
The cottage was designed with a simple structure, a horizontal wood rain screen of cedar to privatize the entry sequence on the North, and a wall of operable glass on the South. The open plan of the kitchen, dining, living area and porch as one room intensifies the views to meadow and woods to the South and maximizes the solar gain in the winter. Radiant heat in the ground concrete floors is enhanced by passive solar gain, and runs throughout the three-bedroom cottage. The arrangement of the rooms and glass are to maximize views of the outdoor environment, while providing the most energy efficient operation. A fireplace is positioned in the front hallway that divides the bedrooms from the living area, and a custom sofa bench built in to the wall across from it creates a traditional fireplace inglenook.