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Pleated House

Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Project Name

Pleated House

Project Status



1,850 sq. feet


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2015 Residential Architect Design Awards
Custom/Under 3,000 Square Feet

The irregular ridges of tree bark inspired the pleated cladding that wraps parts of this 1,850-square-foot Door County, Wis., house designed by Milwaukee firm Johnsen Schmaling Architects. The client, an empty-nester couple, wanted an unassuming retreat that would defer to the surrounding forest. In response, the architects designed a simple rectangular volume notched by a tapering forecourt and a patio directly opposite. A smaller volume on the second floor contains the master suite. The black and rust tones of the cedar cladding contrast with the serene white and gray interior. Closed-cell foam insulation, a geothermal heat pump, a rain garden, and a green roof up the sustainability of the building and its 4-acre site, while the cuts into the main volume draw in the breezes from Lake Michigan. —Amanda Kolson Hurley

From the Jury

“When you get into the resolution of the infill of the modernist grid on the outside, they take a lot of material and formal liberties within that framework.”  —John Frane

Project Credits

Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects, Milwaukee—Brian Johnsen, AIA, Sebastian Schmaling, AIA
Project Size: 1,850 square feet
Construction Cost: $281 per square foot

Click here to see all of the winners from the 2015 Residential Architect Design Awards.

Project Description

See all of the winners of the AIA's 2015 Small Projects Awards here.
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