Residential Design

Vol. 3, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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response, they are almost organic in a functional sense. Into the Void If Camouflage House was the prototype lake house in the woods for Johnsen Schmaling, Linear Cabin is a natural progression. Located on Alma Lake in St. Germain, Wis., the 900-square-foot "cabin" is just one-third the size of its forebear. It, too, explores the idea of solids and voids, of horizontality amid the verti- cal woods. But this iteration is even more distilled and extracted. There are three modules to the whole—a storage room (lake toys), service room (kitchen, bath, laundry, utility), and a "sleeping box" (containing two bunk rooms). These modules comprise the "solid" portions of the building, and between them two see-through "voids" serve as carport and "hearth room," respectively. One continuous flat roof connects the components. The carport lies open to the elements, and the hearth room appears similarly open, but is glazed with 15-foot-wide lift-slide glass doors. The closed modules are clad in locally sourced, blackened pine planks. A varnished, lighter- colored cedar reveal continues along the roof line and to the ground at the north end of the building, creating a subtle, almost halo effect. In its resolute simplicity, the house exudes a kind of inevitability about its presence in these woods. The effect is quite deliberate. "We truly believe that a building wants to grow out of the site. Once it's built, it becomes a logical compo- nent of the landscape," Sebastian explains. "Deep down, we are real rationalists, but we have a poetic vein. We are sort of trying to analyze what we see, digitize it in a way, and reassemble it into a building." Lyrical Stillness The word "poetic" may best apply to one of the firm's smallest buildings, Studio for a Composer in Spring Prairie, Wis. The Top to bottom: Two more single-family houses now under construction show their solid grounding on their sites and in the scenic landscapes they occupy. The center photo is a model study for the house shown at the top. studio space is just 315 square feet, but glass window walls at either end connect it to infinite space outdoors. The rect- angular room sits atop a storage volume and a vegetated roof—landscape brought within the boundaries of the building. Locally sourced weathering steel skin introduces an element of unpredictability and imperfection to the otherwise strictly controlled composition. Another multiple award-winner, the jewel box building struck a major chord with critics. Materials that weather, materials that withstand change, taut volumes of carefully orchestrated interior space and exterior skin—a tuning fork struck on the ground and resonating to a perfect tone. These are characteristics all Johnsen Schmaling's buildings share. Even when their projects occupy urban sites, they find something meaningful to root them in. A recent breakthrough project, Belay MKE, allowed the partners to employ their book of spells at a larger scale—an 18,000-square-foot, mixed-use building with 46 apartments. Instead of VOL. 3, 2017 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGAZINE.COM 21

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