This residence in north-east Wisconsin is located in a secluded area of a plot surrounded in part by a domesticated landscape of farms and fields, and in part by untouched prairie. Located in the northwestern tip of the plot, the building has clean, almost stark, geometrical lines, in answer to the client’s request for a home with an enhanced sense of space from which to admire the landscape, changing seasons and sky. The parallel piped box design affords the same compact appearance as the neighbouring farms. Unconventional, however, are the outer cladding and richly textured interior spatial distribution. Digital Subscription
A flight of limestone steps to the house and the cedar wood platform ground the building in its natural environment. The architecture juxtaposes transparent and opaque surfaces. The zinc galvanized metal skin is broken on the south wall by a long glazed aluminium-framed strip window and a sliding garage door in translucent glass. On the east side, a recessed covered and screened terrace creates an open yet protected area. The ground floor of this two storey building contains a spacious garage, entrance and guest quarters.
A corridor leads to a central staircase, and so to the second floor. Upstairs, a linear sequence of rooms gives on to a corridor running along the blind north wall.
Rooms vary in the amount of privacy they afford: a secluded studio lies on the west side while the kitchen-living area giving onto the covered terrace, and communal parlour with fireplace are located on the east side. In keeping with the different environments, light exposure from the glazed façades is modulated by natural fabric roll-up curtains.
The steel beams sustaining the flat roof have been left in full view in the ceiling of the upper floor. Concrete block walls and steel truss beams form the structure. An industrial type rung ladder leads from the studio to the cedar planked roof, from where the owner, an expert astronomer, can observe the skies.
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