Bissell Tree House in Grand Rapids, Michigan by progressive | ae.

Bissell Tree House in Grand Rapids, Michigan by progressive | ae.

Credit: Courtesy progressive | ae


We discovered a natural clearing on the hilltop to site the project. The building is oriented to include a one of a kind view to the city and immersion into the woodlands. A long sloping roof plane, supported by a naturally warm wood structure, hovers over the entry and interior environment. The experience grows toward the view; both in volume and transparency. Rain is collected along the gentle slope and creates a “waterfall” at the entry flowing into a rain garden. This presents a soothing sound and playful movement. A dynamically formed random wood planked concrete wall visually pulls your eye toward the main entry. This rough wall contrasts the smooth surface of the wood siding, imparting sensory diversity. The concrete continues through the interior forming a back drop to the natural views outward. Furthering the diversity is a bio burning stainless steel fireplace integrated in the concrete.

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