Envisioned by New York-based architects Gluck+, House to the Beach was designed to encapsulate the atmosphere of West Coast living and transport it to a serene Midwestern lakeside location. Built for a large family of seven, the property is situated on a sandy stretch of private beach on the shores of Lake Michigan, bringing life to a picturesque plot that had been empty for over a decade.
Designed in direct response to the neighbouring Baha’i Temple, House to the Beach is minimal and refined, offsetting the temple’s ornamental facade. When entering the building from the street level – via the property's second floor – visitors are greeted by the structure’s main stairwell and the home’s family room and media lounge, both located adjacent to the children’s bedrooms. When descending the main stair, the internal programme slowly unfolds, as the visitor travels through the library before heading downwards, towards the home’s generous public areas that open out directly onto the beach.
The beach house’s minimal and subdued façade was designed to act as a subtle backdrop to the neighbouring grid of trees planted in the parking forecourt. Black stained cypress wood appears sporadically along the home’s base, creating the illusion that the upper levels float, and adding warmth and depth to the home’s exterior shell.
Materials were selected to enhance the spatial experience of each room; terrazzo stairs, for instance, provide texture. Vibrant splashes of colour make a calculated appearance throughout the property; the striking forest green curtain, situated midway down the main stair and hung on a circular track, provides a prime example. This gesture creates a moment of privacy for the nearby bedroom wing, while creating an intimate nook for relaxing and reading.