THE SANDBOX

Michiana, Michigan

 

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

 

The site is a stretch of beachfront adjacent to environmentally protected dunes which shift with the ever-changing weather. To address these conditions, the house is elevated by a minimalist steel superstructure and deep helical piers, making the house appear to float above the sand. This design enables the dunes to shift freely under the house and minimizes its impact on the environment.

 

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 over the dunes. The second level includes bedrooms with a private master suite with balcony, and a media room with convertible bunk space.

 

The tiered roof deck integrates 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 grasses to stabilize the dune.