Warm and inviting contemporary refuge overlooking Lake Michigan

Designed by , this warm and inviting contemporary lake house in Chicago features unobstructed views of Lake Michigan. The 4,600 square foot residence takes its form from its site: “the base of the residence is rendered as a solid mass, forming a plinth that grounds the house on its prominent corner location,” states the architects. The home occupies just a portion of the wooded property, as the homeowners wished to leave it mostly intact.

The base of the dwelling is carved into and becomes more open towards the lakeside of the house. The two-story structure was designed to maximize the views of Lake Michigan, especially from the living room—where expansive windows frame the views. “A split-level floorplan creates spaces of various scales and experiences that share in the east view towards the park and lake,” states the architects.

Constructed in 2011, the structure is comprised of a split-faced limestone at its base. A double volume, floor-to-ceiling glass wraps the perimeter of the foyer, living and dining rooms. On the upper level, a wedge-shaped mass is clad in a smooth limestone, which encompasses the private zones—two spacious bedrooms. There are several sustainable design features offered in this east/west facing home. This includes a rain screen, brise-soleil on west-facing windows, and solar panels on the partially sloped roof.

Interesting Fact: This residence received an award in 2013 for its stellar design. “AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award, Honor Award”

What We Love: This contemporary lake house features a spacious interior layout spread out over two levels. With maximized views over Lake Michigan, the living spaces feeling comfortable and inviting. The wooded site adds to the tranquility of this residence, despite is ultra-modern exterior facade… Readers, please share your thoughts on what you like or dislike about the design of this lake house.

Note: Have a look below for a couple more projects we have featured from the portfolio of Wheeler Kearns Architects.

RELATED: Contemporary pad filled with natural light: Orchard Willow Residence

RELATED: Fire Lane Retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan

Photos: Steve Hall / Hedrich Blessing

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it is easy to see why this house won an award, it is warm and inviting as the moderators have noted. this place looks really livable, and has considerable curb appeal. although with only 2 bedrooms, this place doesn’t quite “cut it” as a family dwelling, which would probably limit the marketability of this house. in that regard, this house possibly falls a bit short when it comes to practicality. one element that i really like is the use of (what appears to be) aluminum clad wood windows, instead of (presumably thermally broken) aluminum that you commonly see in many… Read more »