Redaction House, designed by Johnsen Schmaling Architects
John J. Macaulay Redaction House, designed by Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Johnsen Schmaling Architects

On a quarter-acre site on the shores of Lac La Belle, just over 30 miles west of Milwaukee, is a colorful new house that brings all the attributes of urban infill to this bucolic landscape. Designed by Milwaukee-based Johnsen Schmaling Architects, the 2,430-square-foot-house was designed for a fiber artist and her family. The architects organized the program around a series of voids cut into the three-story building mass, which accommodate a covered second-floor deck, an entry court, and, inside, a double-height living room. “This is a known volumetric and formal strategy but the level of execution at all parts is extremely high,” juror Cary Bernstein said. The architects took cues from the client’s art by detailing a brick wall by the entry with progressively wider perforations, and by accenting the horizontal cedar siding with vertical boards painted in colors inspired by the client’s yarn collection. Views out to the lakeside environs are carefully curated, with floor-to-ceiling glazing interrupted by opaque walls to edit out undesirable sight lines. The final result is reminiscent of a censored CIA file, hence “Redaction House.” The jury appreciated how the compact design and footprint felt at home within its neighborhood setting despite its own density. Juror Joel Sanders noted that it feels “extraordinarily comfortable in that context. It fits in so perfectly.”

Click here to see all of the winners of the 2014 Residential Architect Design Awards.

Kitchen and dining areas.
John J. Macaulay Kitchen and dining areas.

Yard and rear facade.
John J. Macaulay Yard and rear facade.

Living room.
John J. Macaulay Living room.

John J. Macaulay Deck.

Facade detail.
John J. Macaulay Facade detail.


Floor Plans
Courtesy Johnsen Schmaling Floor Plans

Site Plan
Courtesy Johnsen Schmaling Site Plan

Project Credits

Project  Redaction House, Oconomowoc, Wis.
Architect  Johnsen Schmaling Architects, Milwaukee—Brian Johnsen, AIA; Sebastian Schmaling, AIA
General Contractor  Burg Construction
Interior Designer  Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Photography  John J. Macaulay
Project Size  2,430 square feet
Construction Cost  $242 per square foot

Materials and Sources

Bathroom Cabinets  Custom
Bathroom Fittings  Kohler
Bathroom Fixtures  Lacava
Cooktop  Miele
Countertops  Caesarstone
Dishwasher  Miele
Doors  Northwerks  
Exterior Siding  Cedar
Flooring  Bamboo; Interstyle Ceramic & Glass
Garage Doors  Clopay
Garbage Disposal  Custom
Hardware  Amerock; Schlage
HVAC  Trane
Insulation  Biofoam
Kitchen Cabinets  Custom
Kitchen Fittings  Dornbracht
Kitchen Fixtures  Elkay
Lighting Fixtures  Bega-US; Juno Lighting Group; Lux & Luce
Oven  Miele
Paints and Finishes  Benjamin Moore & Co.
Refrigerator  Miele
Roofing  Johns Manville
Windows  Custom; Marvin Windows and Doors