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4-Storey Tall House Reaches Above the Forest to See the Lake

Located on a lake in the most northwestern county of Michigan’s lower peninsula, this impressive modern residence seeks to take advantage of the scenery offered by lakeside living and proximity to the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes. Built on a forest lot, the design of the house is focused upward through four levels to its public rooms, situated next to wide window banks on the top floor. Drawn up by Balance Associates, the home uses physical height as its key asset, boasting expansive views over the forest for miles around. The exterior exhibits a contrast of professional and playful elements, with tall metal walls forming a visual frame punctuated occasionally by windows of nearly random size and placement. Between those walls and inside the house, light wood varieties give warmth to the design while keeping the environment spacious in appearance. Beneath the commanding main rooms, various private spaces wind down through the dwelling towards the carport at ground level.

The lowest level of the house is a carport, with space for up to two vehicles and storage areas built into one side, protected from the weather. The carport serves nearly every function of a traditional garage while opening up the ground level, which makes the rest of the house appear even more elevated above the landscape.
The design of each metal-clad side of the building is kept fresh and welcoming by the inclusion of small windows, deck openings, and splashes of wood. The residence includes three separate deck areas, the largest of which wraps around a corner off the living room on the top floor.
With a dirt drive winding through the woods to the forest clearing on which the house sits, the mood is set for a connection to nature and distance from the bustle of society. At the rear, a wood extension of the structure’s metal frame houses corner windows on each of the three habitable levels, bringing natural light into the rooms which feature few openings at the front and sides.
Entering the house, the homeowners and their guests pass through a variety of spaces with access to natural sights. A set of stairs leads up from the carport to rest on a deck at the second level before entering a door to the interior.
Aside from the dominance of the same light wood variety that sees use on the exterior, the inside of the house is accented by cool blue colors and professional black finishes. The design of the interior seeks to unite cabin charm with modern living, creating a comfortable yet contemporary place to live.
For warm, sunny days, a dining table on the top-floor deck features unobstructed access to all of the area’s natural beauty. Though every room on the fourth level has a view of the lake and woods, nothing beats stepping outside to see it all in panoramic fashion.
Balance Associates


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