Sitting on a stunning 50 acre lot just minutes from downtown Ann Arbor, our clients came to us to turn the existing home into something that would better meet the needs of a growing family who love to entertain. This project included a complete tear down of a “unique” home that was originally designed for the male sports enthusiast. In other words…it was truly a man cave!
Although set on pristine acreage, the previous 1981 “barn-esque” home had few redeeming qualities. With a two-story basketball court as the “core” of this home, the additional square footage built around the court was just space to put more toys. The house was a drafty box with lots of brown siding and shingles, little insulation, and sub-standard construction – perfect for a man cave but far from perfect for a growing family.
Upon purchasing this home, the owners came to Meadowlark longing for a sleeker, more modern home style that would accommodate their needs for years to come. Their vision was to create a bit of “up North” right here in Ann Arbor, and to take full advantage of the property’s southern vistas and two adjacent ponds. In addition, with backgrounds in computer technology and solar contracting, the owners also wanted a comfortable and resource-efficient home that was also healthy and durable.
Our clients had a mix of design aesthetics – one having a love of all things contemporary and the other wanting something bordering on “hunting lodg-esque.” Capturing the outdoors and providing unique spaces for entertaining friends and family was something they could both agree upon, so our designers started with that as common ground for design focus. There wasn’t much that was salvageable of the existing structure other than the foundation. The foundation was in good shape and it already had the central opening for the lower level garage and thus optimizing those existing features would take away the significant cost of a new foundation. Other key design goals:
Using the existing foundation as a starting point, our designers worked to meld the clients’ design aesthetic into something that would meet their wants and needs. Combining rustic with contemporary could be seen as an impossible task, but our designers took on the challenge to create a striking home that takes advantage of all the surrounding lot has to offer. SIPS Panels allow for contemporary sloping rooflines that are balanced by rustic natural cedar siding. This harmony of styles is continued in selections and finishes throughout the home.
Meadowlark designers were able to beautifully merge disparate design aesthetics together to create a new contemporary home using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for both wall and roof structures, while re-using the existing foundation and floor framing. The new house soars up at the edges, capturing the beautiful views that encompass the home and allowing daylight to spill deeply into the living spaces. This home is built with technology in mind for now and for the future. The owners have invested in a high-quality structure with long-lasting finishes along with quality mechanical systems. In the future, the addition of a ground-mounted solar array will help the home get closer to being net-zero energy usage.