High on a wooded hilltop above a lake in Michigan, the Tower House is the result of an inspiring collaboration between the design team, clients with a passion for architecture as well as their site, and a skilled local contractor.

Directed to create "a sustainable retreat that reflects the timeless beauty and simple comforts of the area," the architects responded by raising the primary living space above the dense surrounding woods in order to gain light, air and views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan beyond.

Prentiss + Balance + Wickline Architects uploaded Tower House through Add A Home.
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Standing seam siding gives a durable exterior finish, with plywood panels adding warm accents.

Two fin-like, metal-clad walls rise from the crown of the hill to support a three-story plywood box suspended a full story above grade.

Generous balconies reach back into the surrounding forest at every level.

Intricately-detailed stairs climb the tower, moving from exterior to interior and from more enclosed to more open spaces.

Strategically placed windows throughout highlight site-specific views and punctuate the structure with this distinctly function driven form.

A punched-out square window acts as living art in the stairwell.

The climb up the stairs culminates in a breathtaking, glass-wrapped kitchen/living/dining space at the fourth level.

The cozy, birch plywood lined interior lets in views in all weather. The simple built-in ladder leads to a discreet hatch that opens for rooftop access.

The expansive cantilevered decks let the clients enjoy the view they love from thirty feet above the ground.

  • Golden Rule Construction


  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 1
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Square Feet
  • 1400
  • Publications