Michigan House

2012, Hudson Hills, Michigan

Michigan House sits on a scenic riverbank in Hudson Hills, Michigan. The house's form, ground, and materiality express architecture's manifold relationship with nature. The north and south facade are thick, vegetal sheets draped from the house's frame like a fur coat. Inside, the facade is illuminated beyond glass walls and abstracted as vegetal patterns in shallow relief. The building's outer form is conceived as a dynamic line that "draws" its relation to the ground. Materialized in metallic trim, the line follows the building's outer edge, wrapping apertures and extending out into the landscape. The roof slopes from south to north and folds up at the corners, signaling entry and exaggerating the house's pitched shape. The exterior ground plane and interior floor heights further aid the experiential connection and separation from the site. The entry path descends through the vegetal facade to a sunken front door, the living room and kitchen hover above the surrounding site, and the master bedroom is partially submerged. On the whole, Michigan House draws on long-standing traditions of architecture expressing a connection to nature yet no single approach dominates, rather nature is framed in a multitude of ways, sequenced by the building's constituent formal and material variation.