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Lakehouse on the Hill

King of the Hill

The lake house does not overpower the site or demand attention. It is “of” the hill and not “on” the hill to dutifully comply with the well-known Frank Lloyd Wright edict. From its feudal seat it quietly oversees all that happens below and above. Utility reigns above in the detached garage with studio and apartment. Below is the gift of the lake: water, sun, and wind to be enjoyed alone or with your entourage. At street-side, simple tapered columns sit on stone plinths and stand guard at the front portico. Elongated and capped with black metal, they are armored and mean business. Simple gables hint of the modest royalty that resides inside, but only upon entering do you witness the eloquence and command of simplicity and restraint.

The Interior geometry is trimmed in a simple, but traditional manner. Spaces coexist with one another and are adorned with a various crowns of ceiling finish above. Coffers define the tight detail of the kitchen cabinetry while dark stained wood defines the vault of the dining room’s cathedral ceiling. A simple beamed ceiling watches over the living room’s fireplace and television area. There are no spatial outliers or leftover spaces here. All is planned, intentional, and well governed.

The lowest level the house takes advantage of the high ceilings resulting from deep foundations poured to conquer the steep site. All spaces look toward the lake and its light. The bedroom and family room both command interior balconies to address the sunroom, outdoor spaces, and views beyond. Above the master bedroom maintains the hierarchal position near the top of the main gable. Corbeling details hint at the prestige of the position. From there the view is considerable with plenty of glass and another open balcony over the lake and lakefront below.

Good sites don’t automatically result in good buildings, but they can help to define them. The plan must be scrutinized, refined and elevated. This home is simple in its make-up and materials, but the result is artful through hard work with many considerations and iterations. Most of all, a little grace can mean all of the difference in turning a simple home into someone’s castle.

Lakehouse on Hill

Lakehouse on Hill

Michael Hally