High on a wooded hilltop above a lake in Michigan, the Tower House is the result of an inspiring collaboration between Balance Associates, clients with a passion for architecture as well as their site, and a skilled local contractor.
Directed to create “a sustainable retreat that reflects the timeless beauty and simple comforts of the area,” the architects responded by raising the primary living space above the dense surrounding woods in order to gain light, air and views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan beyond. Two fin-like, metal-clad walls rise from the crown of the hill to support a 1400 sf three-story plywood box suspended a full story above grade.
As intricately detailed steel stairs climb the tower, they move from exterior to interior and from more enclosed to more open spaces, culminating in a breathtaking, glass-wrapped kitchen/living/dining space at the fourth level. Here, thirty feet above the ground, the clients enjoy views of the landscape they love, from either the birch-lined interior or expansive cantilevered decks.
Project Name: Glen Lake Tower
Project Location: Michigan
Project Year: 2011
Site Area: 2.5 acres
House Area: 1400 square feet
Budget: Withheld at request of home owners
Photo Credits: Steve Keating Photography
Architects: Balance Associates, Architects
Tom Lenchek, AIA – principal
Margo Peterson-Aspholm, AIA – project architect
Kyle Zerbey, AIA – architect
Structural Engineers: Quantum Consulting Engineers
General Contractor: Golden Rule Construction