Wise Residence

The site is located on a very prominent site across the river from a small historical summer resort town in southwestern Michigan and one mile from Lake Michigan, in an area prone to strong winter winds and moderate, breezy summers. Strict Zoning ordinances and the clients need to maximize the density and create a unique home to reside in required a creative approach as to handling the site setbacks, building heights and other constraints. With a moderate flow of traffic on the west (street) side and the scenic river views to the town on the east side, the project took on a duality approach. The street side stands tall, solid, and defensible while east side becomes more transparent and dynamic as it looks back towards the town. Organizing the program with the private areas at the west side and the public areas on the east and south sides allowed for capitalization of the views. With high shaded windows on the west and the openness of the east and south, the building enjoys year round comfort with river breezes cooling it in the summer and the west solidness protecting against winter lake affect winds. Through the use of form and material selection, the building addresses its nautical neighboring context on the river as the cedar siding blends with the forest beyond.