Glen Lake Tower by Balance Associates, Architects


High on a wooded hilltop above a lake in Michigan, the Tower House is the result of an inspiring collaboration between Balance Associates, clients with a passion for architecture as well as their site, and a skilled local contractor.

Directed to create “a sustainable retreat that reflects the timeless beauty and simple comforts of the area,” the architects responded by raising the primary living space above the dense surrounding woods in order to gain light, air and views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan beyond. Two fin-like, metal-clad walls rise from the crown of the hill to support a 1400 sf three-story plywood box suspended a full story above grade.

As intricately detailed steel stairs climb the tower, they move from exterior to interior and from more enclosed to more open spaces, culminating in a breathtaking, glass-wrapped kitchen/living/dining space at the fourth level. Here, thirty feet above the ground, the clients enjoy views of the landscape they love, from either the birch-lined interior or expansive cantilevered decks.

Architects: Balance Associates, Architects
Location: Michigan, United States of America
Architect In Charge: Tom Lenchek, AIA
Project Architect: Margo Peterson-Aspholm, Kyle Zerbey
Area: 1,400 sq ft
Year: 2011
Structural Engineers: Quantum Consulting Engineers
General Contractor: Golden Rule Construction
Photographs: Steve Keating


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