The site for this house is high on a ridge within an old neighborhood of Ann Arbor. It has unique east/west views of the neighborhoods beyond and the University of Michigan Arboretum through the trees. The design was influenced by Donald Judd’s geometric cubic installations in the landscape. The house is composed of two rectangular volumes that pierce through the larger gable volume to focus and take advantage of the east/west views. The Judd like volumes are visually supported on a stone wall that runs perpendicular acting as a solid north/south datum across nearly the entire site. On the east side is a one story entry volume, and on the west side is a two story volume containing the more private living spaces. The choice of materials relates to the surrounding environment through reflection, shadow, and texture. The cumaru wood at the gable ends serves to complement the verticality of the trees. The “slice” on the south side is also cumaru siding to signal the desire to bring nature inside the general footprint of the house. The white hardi panels on the south accept the ever changing shadows of the surrounding landscape. The large panes of fixed glass reflect the nature beyond, as well as to bring the landscape into the house both on the ground plane and through the sky of an interior courtyard. The home is sustainable featuring orientation to the sun, a heat pump for mechanical, LED lighting for electrical, and a green (landscaped) roof over the garage which serves as a garden and patio blending into the landscape beyond.
Ann Arbor. Michigan
529 Elm Street is located just one block from the University of Michigan's central campus on one of Ann Arbor's oldest streets. The infill lot, the last on the street, originally functioned as the side yard for the adjacent historic house. The concept for the house originated from the idea of resolving the tension between a new development encroaching upon the side yard landscaping. The structure is a simple rectangular form with sections cut away allowing existing and new landscaping to become an integral part of the void areas. The result is a resolution between former garden and new building.
The residence contains 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 1 den, and common spaces for all residents, and is Ann Arbor's second LEED (Gold) student rental house. The Packard house, completed in 2010, designed by Warren Samberg is the first LEED (Silver) student rental house in Ann Arbor. The Elm house has similar interior finishes as well as similar ‘green' features. Sustainable features include rain gardens to manage storm water, low flow plumbing fixtures, low E windows, a heat recovery ventilation system, low VOC paints, and energy efficient lighting.
Ann Arbor. Michigan
The Packard House was built as a 3150 square foot addition to an existing historic Victorian student apartment home in downtown Ann Arbor, located one block from the University of Michigan Campus. The 2 new 6-bedroom units were designed to provide a unique housing option for students interested in supporting a sustainable lifestyle. The addition is the first LEED (Silver) student rental project in the City of Ann Arbor. Despite very tight site constraints, a geothermal well field was installed to supply both the addition and the historic house. Other "green" features include: on-site storm water treatment accomplished with the combined use of a storm water inlet set within a bioswale and a sedimentation tank, covered parking to minimize the heat island effect, landscaping utilizing native indigenous plant species, reclaimed white oak siding milled locally, energy efficient lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, bamboo floors and cabinets, and windows in all rooms to provide natural ventilation and views.
The design intent was based on creating a sense of place through the memory of the neighborhood as it existed in the late 19th Century when the existing Victorian house was just built. The area was once composed of a mix of industrial, residential, and institutional uses. At the corner of the block was a saw mill with two principle gable structures. The addition recalls both the form of the mill and process through the use of industrial materials and locally milled reclaimed white oak used for siding and louvers. The massing of the addition repeats and compliments the existing house and harmonizes with the surrounding vernacular buildings.
This new house replaces an old dilapidated structure in a very eclectic Water Hill neighborhood. This project is unique because it is a home for multi-generational living. On one side are accessible single story living spaces for the senior parents and on the other side are spaces spread across two levels for the younger family of four. The two story level wraps over the one level side to offer double height and taller living space. Symbolically, this sectional intertwining alludes to the generational embracing of the larger family living within one single family home. On the plan level, the central spaces are shared by all generations flowing east/west referencing the same direction that streams once crossed this very parcel many years ago. The central spaces include a den and an interior courtyard open to the sky. The courtyard is an important feature that allows all occupants to constantly be a part of the outdoors from nearly every space in the house. On the exterior, western red cedar siding is used to reference the spaces within that are shared by all generations.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
When the clients purchased this home in 2013 there were very few updates in the last 40 years. The objective for the project was a whole house remodel with a new kitchen suitable for the owner (a professional chef), and a new rear addition sunroom. The home is situated within an Ann Arbor Old West Side historic district: therefore the new addition required presentation to the city Historic Commission. It was granted approval and praised as a well-planned modern juxtaposition to the historic brick house. The sunroom addition continues within the scale and form of the existing house and is clad in cedar siding. A glass connecting bridge was designed as a link along a common path from the front porch of Jefferson that would continue right out the rear door of the sunroom. This path would serve as a historic timeline connecting the various structures in historic sequence. The glass link would also serve as the glass wall of the sunroom facing east with the best views of the landscape. The industrial fenestration of the glass wall relates to the industrial feeling of the remodel in the historic house. The interior of the house on the first level was opened up as much as possible to reveal brick walls, brick arches, and a large exposed steel beam was introduced to support the second level. A bedroom upstairs was converted to a bathroom since the only bathroom was on the first level. Generally, the house was also updated to become more energy efficient with new insulation, and window restoration.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
A 1-story garage was the starting point to add much needed residential/office space for a growing family. The footprint was small; however, the solution resulted in a substantial overhang to both add square footage beyond the first level and to provide the experience of sitting in a treehouse projecting into the rear woods. Sections are cut away to reveal areas of reclaimed wood while creating outdoor spaces within the larger volume. The first level will remain a garage aside from a new interior stair to access the second level. The second level is essentially one large space with a bathroom at the center. The new space will function as office or living space depending on the changing needs of the family throughout the year.
Bynum, North Carolina
This project was located in the historic mill town of Bynum. The owner of the property was a shoe designer seeking a home and retreat on a wooded site overlooking a pond. Since he traveled extensively for work the objective was to create a modest home that could be easily secured when away for several months. The design drew upon inspiration from the old Odell Textile Mill in form and materials. The vernacular presence facing the pond recalled the mill along the river that was lost due to fire.
The program called for one large open live/work space with bedrooms located in an upper loft. The industrial typology was to be carried inside featuring exposed concrete floors, concrete block walls, and a steel staircase.
The playful patterns of fenestration combined with a wall of sliding metal doors create a dynamic control of view and light, constantly changing throughout the year.