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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.