Three Volumes Meet Beneath A Butterflied Roof By Lake Michigan

Not so long ago New York-based architecture firm Desai Chia completed one of their most beautiful projects to date: a residence situated in the close vicinity of Lake Michigan. It’s a house that doesn’t stand out much but which impresses on a different level. What we love most about it is the butterflied roof and the fact that it shelters three offset volumes, each with its own individual function.

This is a residence that's inspired by its surroundings and which draws beauty from the landscapeView in gallery
This is a residence that’s inspired by its surroundings and which draws beauty from the landscape

The asymmetrical shape of the roof suits the house well, giving it a lot of characterView in gallery

The three volumes are a social space which includes the living area and the kitchen, a master bedroom suite and a set of three bedrooms for the children. They’re all distinct spaces and you can tell that from the outside just by looking at the overall form of the house and the disposition of its walls.

Triple volume residence is clad in burned wood a japanese techniqueView in gallery
The exterior of the house is clad with burned ash wood created using an old japanese technique
Triple volume residence overlooks a lake and offers panoramic viewsView in gallery
The house overlooks a valley and the lake and these views are welcomed inside through large windows

The house sits on a sloping site and following its form. In fact, a lot of aspects in its design are inspired by the immediate surroundings. The roof is meant t mimic the landscape around the house but at the same time makes a statement related to the history of the region which is made up of fishing villages.

Triple volume residence has large glass windows that let the outdoors inView in gallery
The division between the three volumes is pretty clear, even from outside
On one side, the roof cantilevers and forms a protected outdoor dining areaView in gallery
On one side, the roof cantilevers and forms a protected outdoor dining area

The sculptural roof cantilevers on one side, forming this wonderful protected space that serves as an outdoor dining area. It stands between a concrete deck and a wooden roof and it’s completely open to the views and the surroundings on three sides.

Triple volume residence uses reclaimed wood for its interior designView in gallery
Inside, reclaimed wood from the site was used on the ceilings, floors and some of the furniture
Triple volume residence has exposed beams in the ceiling and wooden floorsView in gallery
Large windows let in the light and the views, connecting the house to its beautiful surroundings

The exterior of the house is clad in charred wood using a traditional Japanese technique called shou sugi bun or yokisugi. By charring the wood the architects made it resistant to rot and insects and at the same time have it this unique look which gives the house a strong presence and allows it both to contrast with its surroundings and to connect with them in unique ways.

Triple volume residence forms a covered dining area between the volumesView in gallery
The interior dining area is sheltered between two of the volumes
Triple volume residence is organized on different levelsView in gallery
One of the volumes descends, forming a lower level partially sunken into the ground

Inside the house, they used a lot of reclaimed ash wood from the site. The wood was processed and used in the building of the beamed ceilings and the floors but also a lot of the furniture. This way the outdoors physically became a part of the indoor spaces in a practical and at the same time beautiful manner.

Triple volume residence has a minimalist interior designView in gallery
The whole interior is minimalist, featuring simple colors, forms and materials