SANDBOX

Michiana, Michigan

 

Located one hour from Chicago, this weekend retreat offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan and surrounding dunes. The owners, a couple with grown children, wanted a home with lake views from every room, decks on each level, a roof deck with a pool, and flexible living spaces to accommodate family gatherings while still cozy when they are there on their own.

 

The beachfront site is adjacent to protected dunes which shift in the ever-changing wind. To minimize the impact of the environment, the house is elevated on a minimalist steel superstructure supported by deep helical piers. This design enables the dunes to shift freely under the house and makes the structure appear to float above the sand.

 

The first floor space is a kitchen and great room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a large cantilevered deck with an integrated two-person hammock suspended over the dunes. The second level includes a private master suite, guest bedroom, and a media room with convertible bunk space.

 

The roof deck is tiered to integrate a plunge pool, sundeck, lounge area with bar, and a pergola with operable sliding sun shade. Other outdoor amenities include a private garden with fire pit, outdoor kitchen, and an operable steel staircase to provide drawbridge access to the beach below.

 

Sustainable elements include a high-performing thermal envelope, durable and recycled materials, energy-efficient LED lighting, radiant floor heating, and native dune grasses.