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Horizon House

A modern beach house in New Buffalo, Michigan

New Buffalo, MI

4,700 sf, 5 bed, 5 bath

Designed in collaboration with globetrotting clients who wanted a weekend sanctuary, Horizon House evokes a sensuous St. Barths lifestyle on Lake Michigan, one hour from their primary residence in Chicago. Project brief included open plan living for entertaining, expansive panes of glass, a home gym, a family lounge, and enough bedrooms for their children and weekend guests.


A defining element is the glass rectangular volume on the first level. This design lightens the impact on the land by making the second level appear to hover over the dune and offering unobstructed horizon views through the structure. The upper level is clad in Accoya, a sustainable wood that grays with age, so it will blend into the environment. The two horizontal volumes are connected by a narrow, vertical glass space that serves as the double-height entry and reveals a floating staircase.


A contemporary beach aesthetic unifies the interior of the home through a restrained palette of materials, including white oak millwork, large-format porcelain tile, and a range of warm whites on walls and fixtures. Interior tile extends out to the pool terrace, uniting the two spaces and amplifying the connection to the outdoors.


On the leeward side, a courtyard landscaped with Ginkgo trees offers shade and refuge from lake breezes. It is defined by a low wall of textured concrete that offers an artful backdrop to the space while preserving privacy. Perimeter lighting draws one’s gaze outdoors, enhancing the connection  between interior and exterior spaces at night.

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