Lakefront Eco Residence

United States

Project Summary

With their children grown and out of the house, this couple decided that their new lifestyle was not befitting of the 14,000 SF home where they had raised their family. Not wanting to give up the natural setting—lakeside amongst old growth timber and rainforest—the couple sought a different solution, one that would not harm the environment they so deeply love.

The new house features a stone bridge crossing a salmon stream to enter the living room and reception. MC Escher-inspired patterns were created in the multi-colored flamed granite living room floor, providing unique dimensionality and depth to the floor. The house features large retractable walls, blurring any distinction between indoors and the pristine surroundings. The master bedroom features a rail system allowing the couple to sleep al fresco, weather permitting.

To help the empty nesters find the best possible solution, MGAC undertook an international design competition with multiple architects, ultimately selecting Olson Kundig. But, the solution to the problem was not simple.

As dedicated environmentalists, the couple did not want to produce the waste and debris often created by a major construction project; they were similarly concerned for the wellbeing of the ancient tree canopy surrounding their home. Olson Kundig’s solution was to disassemble the existing house, stone by stone, timber by timber. All of the disassembled materials were taken to off-site warehouses, and catalogued. The new house design was created by reuse of the existing house materials into its new form. Excess materials were designed into, and subsequently donated to create Habitat for Humanity affordable housing.

The delivery of the new home was expedited by four months in order to host a milestone birthday party in the new house, commemorating a lifetime of achievement for the Client.