Overlooking Lake Michigan, the home is designed for a family seeking respite from city living and immersion along the quiet beach. The aesthetic of the project grew out of the client’s desire for a year-round, minimal, low maintenance, and intimate retreat.

The site context informed the arrangement of the home. With a pronounced, sloping, dune topography and sizeable neighboring house to the east, the design entails two shifting volumes that maximize southern exposure, privacy, and diverse environments to enjoy. The home is positioned on the inland-side of the dune crest to maintain the integrity of the dune, and take advantage of the prow-like position for expansive views of the lake.

A sequence of layered planes, textures and spaces achieve a balance of privacy and openness to the outdoors. The two-story, opaque volume parallels the adjacent property to provide seclusion while the public, glassy volume bridges the lake-side beach landscape and the road-side wooded landscape. A sunken sun-court formed by the alternating forms gathers natural light for the rooms below and provides a quiet, sheltered environment in contrast to the wind, noise and high energy environment of the kinetic lake.

The material palette, rendered in calm, natural earth tones reads quietly in concert with the natural surroundings. A warm-grey vertical cement board clads the exterior, intended to weather gracefully over time and reinforce the verticality of the surrounding trees. Inside, douglas fir wraps the floors and walls, bringing in warmth and coziness compared to the more abstract exterior scale.

Wheeler Kearns Architects uploaded Suns End Retreat through Add A Home.
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Modern home with Exterior, Flat RoofLine, House Building Type, and Beach House Building Type. Photo  of Suns End Retreat
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Photo 5 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Beach House Building Type, and Flat RoofLine. Photo 6 of Suns End Retreat
Photo 7 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 8 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Modern home with Staircase, Wood Tread, and Cable Railing. The material palette of Suns End Retreat includes Douglas fir that wraps the floors, walls, and ceiling. Wheeler Kearns Architects say the home's “calm, natural earth tones read quietly in concert with the natural surroundings.” Photo 9 of Suns End Retreat

The material palette of Suns End Retreat includes Douglas fir that wraps the floors, walls, and ceiling. Wheeler Kearns Architects say the home's “calm, natural earth tones read quietly in concert with the natural surroundings.”

Photo 10 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 11 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 12 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 13 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 14 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 15 of Suns End Retreat modern home
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Photo 17 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 18 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Photo 19 of Suns End Retreat modern home
Interior Design
  • ecd design, llc
Landscape Design
  • Green Mansions
Builder
  • Dunes Development

Overview

Location
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern