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Silver Lake 

A lake house retreat in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Saugatuck, Michigan

4,100 sf, 4 bed, 5 bath

This rural retreat offers the homeowners a layered architectural experience in which to interact with nature and their art collection. Originally from Rio, they sought to incorporate Brazilian elements into a design that integrates with the land. In this serene setting overlooking a rustic lake, the structure becomes a sculptural object—a contemplative space that blurs the boundary between architecture and art.

The site slopes down to the shore. From the front, the home appears to be a simple cabin with a garden wall. This space serves as the entry and a lofted lounge. Primary living spaces and bedrooms are below grade, embedded in the hill and partially covered by a green roof.

The interior unfolds as you descend the main stair. Varied ceiling heights, abstract angles and multiple points of light create a space that changes as you move. A sloping roof guides you from the entry to the terrace below, immersing you in the landscape. All rooms are oriented toward the lake and accessible by both interior and exterior paths.


Building materials will transform over time so the home visually expresses its age. Cedar cladding will fade in the sun. A Corten door and louver system will weather with the elements. And a copper island in the kitchen will patina with use, highlighting lived experiences.

Sustainable elements include a high-performing thermal envelope, radiant heating, PV solar array with battery, and native plantings including a prairie meadow. 

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