Fish Creek, Wisconsin

To develop the best view of the Bay it was suggested that the living space be placed at the plateau level but built out over the bluff. This would allow for the garage to be built at the plateau level and the main floor would be accessible to that grade. The problem would be to develop a plan that had most of the floor area 20 feet above grade at the bluffs edge without the lower level dominating the site. The plan was to build a 26 foot quare tower to house mechanical and storage at the bluff level, have a second floor with a guest bedroom and sitting room and place the main floor at the third level. This required the larger third floor to be cantilevered out from tower.

The final design turned the tower with long axises of the square parallel and perpendicular to the site. By crossing these axises with steel trusses a cantilevered structure could be extended side to side and out over the bluff. The main floor shape was asymmetrical with a 45 degree triangle placed to the south side and a larger 30/60 degree triangle on the north side. This set the tower on the furthest point towards the bay allowed for the correct proportion of floor space with the north spaces being public areas (living, dining, kitchen and screened porch) and south area being private with sitting room and master bedroom. To develop deck areas within the given geometry the 45 degree triangle was divided with a 30/60 degree triangle and the 30/60 degree triangle was partially divided with a 45 degree triangle.

The tower contained a large entry that opened to the living room, bath rooms and stair. To access this floor a bridge was extended from the garage area to the main entrance. A fourth floor was added to the tower to accommodate the truss configuration and provide room for two guest bedrooms with baths. The rooms had windows facing the woods. The stair was extended to the tower roof which became an exterior deckwith a breath taking view.

The structure consisted of a substantial concrete slab anchored to the bedrock. Steel columns at the four corners support a system steel roof girders which extend out from the building corners (34' south and west and 70' north) and support the roof and floor. The expression of the structure has been worked into the exterior finishes and exposed at the interior. The tower was veneered with stone to give a massive look to the primary supporting element. The cantilevered areas were glass and wood and supported a copper standing seam roof to give a light appearance to the cantilevered elements.

The final residence had a spectacular 180 degree view of the Bay of Green Bay, minimized the impact of the structure on the land, and yet is barely visible from the water.

©2008 Valentine Architects