On the Waterfront

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photos by:
August 22, 2011
Originally published in Made in the USA
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  Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, the 1973 Douglas House was one of architect Richard Meier’s first residential commissions. Defined by its verticality, the house features an exterior stepped walkway that extends over the trees, connecting the levels.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, the 1973 Douglas House was one of architect Richard Meier’s first residential commissions. Defined by its verticality, the house features an exterior stepped walkway that extends over the trees, connecting the levels. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  Nestled into the hillside and largely concealed from view, the Douglas House is accessed via a footbridge that leads to the house’s uppermost level. Upon entering, the visitor descends to the lower floors via a winding staircase.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    Nestled into the hillside and largely concealed from view, the Douglas House is accessed via a footbridge that leads to the house’s uppermost level. Upon entering, the visitor descends to the lower floors via a winding staircase. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  An original plan illustrates the extreme slope of the site.
    An original plan illustrates the extreme slope of the site.
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  Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers spent years rehabilitating the Douglas House. The double-height living room features a custom sofa and low table of Meier’s design, and an Edward Fields rug based on a sketch Le Corbusier created in 1956 for a Tokyo theater.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers spent years rehabilitating the Douglas House. The double-height living room features a custom sofa and low table of Meier’s design, and an Edward Fields rug based on a sketch Le Corbusier created in 1956 for a Tokyo theater. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  A view of the residence from the shore of Lake Michigan.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    A view of the residence from the shore of Lake Michigan. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The view of Lake Michigan from the Douglas House.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The view of Lake Michigan from the Douglas House. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The Douglas House is a clear nod to Les Terrasses, a 1928 residence created by Le Corbusier in Garches, France. Shared elements include curved walls, spatial ambiguities, and the series of ladders and cantilevered staircases that join the levels and encourage a cascading architectural promenade.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The Douglas House is a clear nod to Les Terrasses, a 1928 residence created by Le Corbusier in Garches, France. Shared elements include curved walls, spatial ambiguities, and the series of ladders and cantilevered staircases that join the levels and encourage a cascading architectural promenade. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The outdoor furniture is from Richard Schultz.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The outdoor furniture is from Richard Schultz. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  There are many avenues from which one can descend the Douglas House, including staircases and ladders.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    There are many avenues from which one can descend the Douglas House, including staircases and ladders. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers on the exterior promenade.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers on the exterior promenade. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  There are two walkways that extend over the sloping hillside. The top-most walkway is the intended entrance.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    There are two walkways that extend over the sloping hillside. The top-most walkway is the intended entrance. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  An original sketch from Richard Meier's office.
    An original sketch from Richard Meier's office.
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  The rear facade is a complex articulation of angles and walkways.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The rear facade is a complex articulation of angles and walkways. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The view from the driveway highlights the bright-blue entrance doorway.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The view from the driveway highlights the bright-blue entrance doorway. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The office, which overlooks the main living space, is situated as if it's the prow of a ship.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The office, which overlooks the main living space, is situated as if it's the prow of a ship. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  A desk in the guest bedroom fits tidily next to the bed.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    A desk in the guest bedroom fits tidily next to the bed. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The "Meier white" extends even to the kitchen, which has been updated with new appliances.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The "Meier white" extends even to the kitchen, which has been updated with new appliances. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The view overlooking the living room, which features the famous Le Corbusier rug by Edward Fields. The residents were also careful to save the sofa, which Meier himself designed for the space.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The view overlooking the living room, which features the famous Le Corbusier rug by Edward Fields. The residents were also careful to save the sofa, which Meier himself designed for the space. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The pair take in the expanse of Lake Michigan. The Douglas House's views are completely unencumbered.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The pair take in the expanse of Lake Michigan. The Douglas House's views are completely unencumbered. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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  The residents rehabilitated the original redwood decking.  Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
    The residents rehabilitated the original redwood decking. Courtesy of © Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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