This project is a vacation home/retirement home for an orthopedic surgeon and his nurse wife overlooking Lake Michigan in Northern Lower Michigan. They had made 4 one month long visits to Bhutan as Orthopedics Overseas volunteers, serving as the main teaching source for the orthopedic physician assistant program, utilizing local patients to instruct the physician assistant in basic orthopedic procedures. They also worked with the orthopedic nursing staff to improve the level of orthopedic care.
While in Bhutan, the couple fell in love with the people and environment. Thus, they instructed the Architect to consider Bhutan Architecture as inspiration for their new home.
The house is set into a hill at the top of a 200' high bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The lower level and main level living spaces orient toward the lake views. The upper level bedrooms and loft overlook the main level living spaces.
Separating the house and garage, the entry vestibule leads to the north/south circulation path bisecting the house on all three levels, including the two straight run stairs. Along the circulation paths, is a “three story bookcase” containing the owner’s extensive book collection.
The construction follows the concept of a traditional Bhutan house.
The heating system is hot water radiant floor heating. No air conditioning is needed with the wooded site and the house cross-section allowing natural ventilation. The red aluminum standing seam roofs, with large overhangs, channel the rain and snow away from the walls.