Though charming, this 1929 home on Lake Michigan failed to make the most of its lakefront site and suffered from well-intended but poorly conceived modifications over subsequent years.  Its new owners loved the waterfront location and vintage details but were frustrated by the small windows that limited views of the lake.  

To make the most of the site, the architects were charged with designing a family room addition that would open up views and reorient some interior spaces toward the lake.  To accomplish this, the addition takes the form of an octagon, which offers multiple vantage points of the landscape while subtly shifting the viewer’s gaze toward lake.

The addition is conceived of as a garden structure which is set apart from the home by a stone-clad link that matches the chimney.   The same stone wraps the base of the addition while its metal roof references the home’s original copper cupola.

Inside, an open plan facilitates views and circulation from the landlocked kitchen and careful detailing allows new and old to flow together seamlessly.  Two sets of French doors, at opposite corners of the octagon provide easy access to the patio at the east and the lawn to the north.

Without altering the essential character of the home, with its series of rectangular volumes that step away from the lake, the simple geometric form of the addition invites abundant views and natural light and re-engages its occupants with the landscape.

Photography: Leslie Schwartz

Architecture: Kuklinski + Rappe Architects

Interior Design: Jessica Jubelirer Design, Avni Inc.

General Contractor: Carmel Builders

Landscape Design: Wandsnider Landscape Architects