Michigan Cottage #1

This 1933 cottage and adjacent beach house located on Northern Michigan's Crystal Lake were renovated into a year-round vacation home and guest house. The original massing was respected with discrete additions that increased bedroom, bathroom and kitchen space.

Work included new roofs, exterior walls, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Other features on the property included new entry gates, a steel, cedar and fieldstone footbridge and a tennis house with adjoining court.

The original landscape features were rejuvenated and enhanced in collaboration with Chicago landscape architect Peter Lindsay Schaudt.

While the cottage renovation was underway, VHA designed a new tennis house and game room structure on the property.  Carefully sited within a wooded portion of the site, the project is a study in iconic forms and refined materials.

Designed to complement the historic cottage, the Tennis House is a timber-framed rectangular volume with a steeply pitched gabled roof. Its palette of cedar, brick and slate blends in with the natural setting.

With its darker palette and round form, the adjacent Game Room addition creates a powerful foil to the lighter, orthogonal Tennis House. Its cylindrical volume is clad in copper and topped by a conical roof of cedar shingles with a central oculus.

With ample windows and skylights, interiors of both volumes are light and airy. The Game Room features a soaring ceiling of lattice panels and custom light fixtures.


General Contractor: P. Dean Haugen

Structural Engineer: Structural Associates

MEP: CTM Associates, Inc.

Geotechnical: Gosling Czubak Engineering Sciences, Inc.

Lighting: Schuler Shook

Landscape: Peter Lindsay Schaudt Landscape Architecture

Photographer: Leslie Schwarz