Nested in a densely wooded area of Chenequa, Wisconsin, is an exceptional residence graced with curves which is generated from natural materials and later presented this year. The design of this residence is intended for a growing family. Well, originally the location is composed of a house that was not suitable for the family’s needs and it was demolished. Moreover, when the owner realized that the natural beauty of the location plays a crucial role in the design, he stressed out the importance of retaining the trees in the entire site. Meanwhile, the clients wanted a building that is constructed from the natural materials that is acted as one with its environment. It provided the open views and intimate connections to the landscape all over the place.
Well, the approach to the house is leading up to a small hill onto a circular driveway that was retained from the previous house. And upon ascending the hill, the Chenequa Residence emerges from across a grassed yard. At first, you will notice that the house appears to be small because of it steeping roof and spiraling stone columns that helps to reduce its height and obscure its size. Since the designers use the geometry of the residence to continuously hide and uncover new parts of the façade, it can simultaneously create an interest while concealing its scale. After parking on the circular driveway, the client needs to walk while following the small stone which is continuous underneath a low hemlock clad roof. There is a large circular opening in the floor that exposes the new level below and the low roof lifts and spins out the view that is immediately followed by a cantilevered staircase.
Upon entering the house, one will see and experience the more interesting view of the environment. The lake becomes more visible and it has the ability to dominate the views. The entrance is located on the second level of this three storey house. In the second level, you will find the public spaces of the building that includes the lounge room, dining room and the kitchen. It is separated from the main atrium by low ceilings that helps to provide an intimate environment. There is a ribbon of curved steel balustrades that bend itself around a balcony and return into a heavy stone garden wall. Also, there is a helical stone in the other side and it is capable of defining the lounge room twisting around a tall oak tree and ties the floor back to the ground in a similar fashion. Now, why don’t you scroll down the page and enjoy the different areas of this Chenequa Residence.
The spaces in the floor below the entry level is intended for the family-based functions. Below the main atrium space is a game room, a small bar, a theatre room and a small study room. The children’s and guest bedroom is located in the wings that follows under the kitchen. The children’s bedroom can afford to elevate and see the views of the sloping site but are bounded by stone and which is anchored to the ground. While the communal family spaces are dug below the ground and the view is always filtered by a heavy stone walls where they open up to the exterior. The circulation on the bottom floor is also much more guarded than that provided to the public spaces above. So the floor above the entry level is dedicated to the master suite and includes a master bedroom, ensuite and a nursery.
Then, we can say that this Chenequa Residence is a successful project designed by Robert Harvey Oshatz Architect. It is said that Oshatz has already developed his reputation in creating architecture that is inspired by its environment. Most of his projects were built across the five states in US and also in Japan. Also, the designer stated that “he believes that architecture should be at peace with its environment while the occupants are at peace within.” Thus, the Chenequa Residence is designed to be constructed in two phases; first is the façade composed of the construction that includes the primary living areas for the family and the second is to be undertaken at a later point that consist of a glass roofed swimming pool area and a suite for visiting grandparents. Now tell us what do you like most in this house?