dSPACE Studio Architects

dSPACE Studio Architects

Chicago, IL



Set on a wooded lot above the Fox River, this contemporary home quietly attracts attention while blending into its surroundings. The owners, a couple with three children, wanted a home that promotes family interaction and outdoor living in this sportsman’s paradise. The design direction was to create a floor plan that maximizes views with common spaces generously sized for family gatherings and entertainment. Program requirements include a great room, library, mud room accessible from the second floor by a fireman’s pole, lap pool with integrated hot tub, boat house with guest suite, and a zip line from the main house to the boat house.

The design is driven by the site, allowing each room to have expansive views of the landscape. The main living spaces are created by intersecting rectangular volumes flanked by a double-height entry space anchoring the house. The great room and library are separated by a two-sided fireplace and custom pivot doors fabricated from steel and smoked glass.

On the river side, a glass wall system maximizes natural light and integrates interior and exterior spaces. The terrace on the second floor provides outdoor access from each bedroom. A sculptural concrete stairway leads from the main home to a lower terrace where friends gather around a minimalist fire pit. The boat house is recessed into the hill and is visible only from the shore, minimizing its impact on the landscape. It has a guest suite and ample storage for kayaks, paddle-boards, and boating equipment.

On the street side, the elevation is composed of layered planes of cedar, porcelain, and concrete. Charcoal metal cladding quietly contrasts with the natural elements and defines the second floor volume. Regional plantings add texture and maintain privacy. 

The interior incorporates high-end amenities and adventurous furnishings curated by Chicago-based PROjECT Interiors. White oak flooring and a steel fireplace add warmth while maintaining a modern aesthetic. The walk-out lower level has multipurpose space and kitchenette. Currently a family room, in the future it can evolve into an in-law suite. 

Sustainable elements include high-efficiency mechanical systems, durable finishes, an upgraded thermal envelope, LED lighting, and wiring for an electric car charging station.

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Status: Built
Location: De Pere, WI, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: PROjECT Interiors - Interior Design