The region where this lovely little house is located in very beautiful, surrounded by a large and lush forest of conifers and a great sense of remote charm. This is the Door Country in Wisconsin, USA. It’s where Johnsen Schmaling Architects have built the Pleated House, this 1,855 square foot residence which has become the home of a graphic designer and her husband.
The studio responsible for the project specializes in high-end residential and commercial design and believes that a thorough understanding of the site is crucial every time. Their design solutions are innovative, sustainable and eco-friendly and this cabin-like residence is no exception.
The first impression is that of a small and modern house and that’s not far from reality. The architects used a limited palette of materials and the exterior of the house is defined by charred cedar siding, varnished clear cedar, dark-anodized aluminum and glass, a combination which establishes a low-profile look.
The house sits on a sloping site, in a small clearing at the western edge of the property. The surrounding area is populated by lots of trees forming a dense forest. The house’s exterior, being covered with wood, mimics the bark on the tree trunks, thus establishing a close connection with the forest.
The name of the residence is linked to the undulating skin of the building that forms a faceted shell. This design strategy gives the house a lot of character and also allows it to better blend in and become a natural part of the site.
The boundary between indoor and outdoor is softened by the choice of materials and the design characteristics mentioned so far. These are all elements meant to soften the otherwise very simple and clean geometry of the building.
The entryway reveals a set of wooden walls that give the décor a tactile nature, establishing a warm and welcoming ambiance. The recessed outdoor area formed here is a transitional space between the indoor and the outdoor zones.
The entryway leads into an open living space. Sliding sliding glass doors connect this space to a patio and the outdoors while also letting natural light and beautiful views in. a concrete place placed parallel to the exterior wall can also be seen from here.
A white steel staircase adds a sculptural touch to the house, connecting the living space to the upstairs volume housing the bedroom suite. It’s supported by thin vertical rods.
The interior is surprisingly bright compared to the exterior of the house. White walls and large windows and glass doors create a very open and bright look throughout. The white lacquered cabinets and gray polished concrete floors complement the décor and to those a bunch of black accents are added, forming a timeless and elegant setting. The green roof is another design element which allows the house to blend into the surroundings, reinforcing its relationship with the nearby forest.