St. Joseph Residence: group of vernacular volumes rest on a green lawn overlooking the lake
St. Joseph Residence: group of vernacular volumes rest on a green lawn overlooking the lake

The St. Joseph Residence designed by architect Wheeler Kearns lies on a large grassy dune that stretches along Lake Michigan in the United States, and enjoys panoramic views of both the dunes and the lake

Wheeler Kearns Architects architectural studio was commissioned to execute the design of the St. Joseph Residence, a new single-family residence in the vicinity of Lake Michigan. The client's desire was to have intimate living spaces, open views of the lake and privacy on the street side

St. Joseph Residence: group of vernacular volumes rest on a green lawn overlooking the lake

The project site offers two distinct street-side and lake-side facades and environments. The street-facing "neighborhood" façade is defined by crisp, perforated black steel openings and a formal entry courtyard. In contrast, on the lake side, floor-to-ceiling glass offers panoramic westward views of the dunes and Lake Michigan

St. Joseph Residence: group of vernacular volumes rest on a green lawn overlooking the lake

The horizontal wood siding and cedar shingles are detailed in a taut and minimalist manner and are designed to protect and gracefully resist the constant wind from the lake. Instead of using local or endangered hardwood siding, an acetylated wood siding, Radiata Accoya was selected for its sustainable, durable and rot-proof characteristics

St. Joseph Residence: group of vernacular volumes rest on a green lawn overlooking the lake

Inside, more upscale finishes contrast with weathered exterior surfaces, creating warm and intimate environments. The gathering spaces, throughout the separate volumes are all united by continuous white oak floors, ceilings and fixtures. A suspended steel entry staircase features monolithic white oak treads and a wooden top rail attached to steel railings. Throughout the house including the inside and outside, finished or exposed, the wood captures the changing dances of light, wind, sand and water

St. Joseph Residence: group of vernacular volumes rest on a green lawn overlooking the lake

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