One of the Midwest’s first LEED Platinum homes enhances a historic neighborhood.
Upon deciding to move from Chicago to southeastern Wisconsin, a young family asked Milwaukee firm Johnsen Schmaling Architects to design an unassuming, modern home that reflected their nature-loving lifestyle. The project site—a narrow lot in a historic neighborhood—was flanked by a three-story mansion and a midcentury ranch. The architects responded by creating the OS House: a colorful, unapologetically contemporary residence that thoughtfully embraces its environment. Indoor-outdoor spaces like an elevated patio, shaded terrace, and natural light-drenched vestibule are artfully carved into the bi-level home and connected with sliding or stationary glazed panels, taking advantage of the area’s amazing views. One of the first LEED Platinum homes in the Midwest, the project incorporates green amenities aplenty. Insulated with foam made from agricultural byproducts, the residence has a custom rain screen system, low-flow water fixtures, and a deep-well geothermal heating and cooling system that allows it to operate almost entirely off-the-grid.