Pretending it’s Summer: Glen Lake Tower by Balance Associates Architects

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Every time I start packing away the winter sweaters and coats, a long string of cold days shows up on the forecast and I start to hate the axis of the earth for not tilting toward the sun more quickly. Days are getting longer (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere) but as close as summer seems to be, there is still too much snow on the ground for too many of us. 2013 is just another year that the groundhog lied to us all.

So I’ve been flipping through projects trying to find some that look summerish even if I’m not sure why seem that way. Counterintuitively, we’re starting in Michigan with a tall, skinny cabin that is probably absolutely miserable right now, so let’s just pretend that it’s summer. The Glen Lake Tower is a cabin on Glen Lake where Balance Associates Architects worked with the owners to come up with a warm and modern abode that hoisted off the ground to accomodate a covered parking area.

The public spaces of the house are actually at the very top of the cabin, affording the kitchen and the living room the most impressive views of Glen Lake, and even Lake Michigan beyond. Between the parking and the public spaces, a master suite and a guest bedroom/office have balconies that look out toward the lake. The most dramatic balcony though, is the one off of the living room. Along with the overhanging roofline, the cantilevered deck makes the house look elegantly top-heavy, in a way that makes me think the public could one day appreciate brutalism again. Sadly, for the time being, all I can imagine is an icicle reaching from the roof all the way to the ground.

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Alex Dent

March 25, 2013 / By

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