The small ensemble of modern mansions started from the most elementary premises, conventional simple requirements like very well ventilated and illuminated spaces, rooms prepared to accommodate guests and a view of the lake : “The program was pretty normal,” relates architect David D. Salmela, FAIA. Nonetheless, despite the light – basic requirements the result answered far more problems expected, creating a small compound that combines elements of environmental sculpture and installation art with balanced compositions and manipulated perception.
The ensemble is pierced by a direct driveway trough the entry court, court which welcomes the visitor with four coal – black boxes, three of them representing garages and a fourth one situated between them that breaks the lane and expands its volume to point out and direct the pedestrian to a narrow passage that leads to the inner central courtyard and the house, this forth bigger volume representing the workshop.
The facade has been described by the architects as “white swans on black water“, an exposed structure realized from laminated columns being spread to match the length of building that descends toward the lake. Intermediate levels, terraces, most likely defined by the topographic setup are describing the whole ensemble and composition, balancing sculptural elements like a sauna, freestanding chimney and a pavilion entitled “the Mystery Critter” which is meant to draw the individual in the landscape, inviting him to discover nature and cherish it.
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principal in charge / project architect: David D.Salmela, FAIA, SALMELA Architect, www.salmelaarchitect.com
general contractor: James Anderson, James Anderson Builders, Maple City, Mich.
landscape architect: Shane Coen, ASLA, Coen+Partners, Minneapolis
project size: 3,661 square feet
site size: 10 acres
construction cost: $429 per square foot
photography: Peter Bastianelli-Kerze