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House becomes one with nature


The owners of this lakeside vacation home say they wanted a small retreat where they could go and feel refreshed and renewed, but which was also large enough to accommodate their extended family.

They found a site by a lake and approached architect Jim Nagle, whose own vacation home they had seen and admired.
“We wanted a house that we could use all year round, and that was completely different to our city home, which is very traditional. We wanted lots of light, and enough space for our adult children and eight grandchildren,” says one of the owners.

Nagle says because the property slopes down towards the lake it made sense to build a two-story home.

“This enabled us to design a house that didn’t feel too big and didn’t appear to dominate the surrounding environment – but had plenty of space.”

This house, designed by Nagle Hartray Danker Kagan Mckay Penney Architects of Chicago and built by Design Specialty Builders, features Marvin Windows and Doors to bring the outdoors in while still providing superior energy efficiency. The design also minimizes the less-desirable views of the road out front while making the trees and the lake a part of the architecture.