sheltering birches

The bar-shaped design of this Lake Michigan house aligns water views and promotes energy-saving cross-ventilation.

A large west-facing skylight over the second-story observatory draws solar heat when the trees have shed their leaves.

And a polycarbonate clerestory fills the garage with natural light by day and glows from within at night.

Two semi-protected, screened porch and deck areas are made from sustainably harvested ipe hardwood.

The house blurs its boundaries with 7-foot-wide custom mahogany-and-glass doors at front and back. But, like dutiful sentinels, the birch trees shield the building from unnerving transparency.

Two semi-protected, screened porch and deck areas are made from sustainably harvested ipe hardwood. An ipe trellis, which tops the entry colonnade, penetrates the building envelope for a sense of continuation.

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