Tranquil Legacy

The confluence of Ann Arbor’s Mallets and Swift Run Creeks has created the South Pond wetland area, home to over 100 bird species. South Pond is the focal point for the amazing views in this custom-designed home that pays homage to it’s Mid-century Modern roots.

The Vision

The previous home on the lot, built in 1958 by the current homeowner’s parents, was the site of many treasured childhood memories. The home was also in the mid-century style, but unfortunately had not been updated and several components were failing. The building methods employed in the 50’s were not as conducive to building a comfortable or efficient home as modern methods. In addition the existing home had a flat roof which, although architecturally interesting, was not practical for the Michigan winters. The decision was made to deconstruct this home and build a new one in its place. Throughout the project, our shared vision was to create a structure that would preserve those memories for the next generation of family and stay true to the mid-century aesthetic.

The Team

Design & Architecture: Jimmy Bevilacqua & Jen Hinesman

Project Manager: The Meadowlark Team

Photography:  Carlson Productions

Design & Architecture

Schematic Design

The South Pond, especially during sunset on summer evenings, was to be the focal point of the home’s views. Built into a small hill, the ground floor was designed to seamlessly blend the interior and exterior living areas. A full balcony stretching across the back of the home also expanded the water views. Collaboration with two-generations of the family brought forth these key design goals:

  • Mid-Century Modern Architectural Style
  • Maximize views of the Water
  • Bring the outdoors in and make transitions from interior to exterior minimal
  • Preserve components of the original home to incorporate into the new design if possible
  • Use Aging-in-Place Design Strategies on the main level
  • Incorporate sustainability and ease of maintenance throughout

 

Design Development

The home was built using roughly the exact same footprint as the original house and the existing old-growth trees on the site were carefully preserved. A soaring roofline creates a striking profile. Not only does the home hold heat in cold weather, in hot weather it provides passive cooling via its unique open design. From 2 1/2 stories up – down to the main level, windows bring in breezes off the Huron River and they flow through the house unimpeded.

  • Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) were utilized for roof structure allowing for the soaring roofline that stretches without the need of support.
  • Radiant in-floor heating used throughout the home
  • A combination of spray foam insulation along with rigid foam create the home’s thermal envelope
  • Meadowlark custom cabinetry used throughout
  • Cedar from the original house was saved and reused in the new home’s ceiling
  • When a tulip tree the family valued could not be saved, it was cut and brought in as wood accents in the home
  • Passive Solar design was utilized to help make the home more energy efficient
  • Zero-threshold shower walk-in shower on main floor was designed for wheelchair accessibility

The Results

Designed to capture the serene views of the Huron River, this new home is as aesthetically stunning as it is resource-efficient. Our clients note that with the way the home was designed – light bounces off the water and reflects through the house all day and moving into the evening you get a bit of a twinkle. Drawing from family stories and intertwining these memories into the design process helped to create a home that not pays homage to the family’s past, but creates a home that will continue the story for generations to come.