Site An active Midwestern farm in Three Oaks, Mich.

Program A single-family weekend house for a family of four.

Solution The third iteration of an investigative wood-frame house designed by Ann Arbor, Mich.–based Ply Architecture, the 1,318-square-foot Outside In House incorporates undulating walls of vacuum-sealed “storm glass” tubes—an 18th-century weather-prediction device whose transparency varies depending on climactic conditions—to separate the interior rooms from a central courtyard. “It’s a pretty profound piece of research that made its way into space,” said juror Mary-Ann Ray. “It’s a modern glass curtainwall that actually infiltrates the space.” The house opens to the outside through operable 3-foot-wide wood panels around the perimeter. “It’s an interesting new plan within an existing rectangle,” juror Joseph Rosa said, “and I think that’s quite beautiful.”

Project Credits

Outside In House, Three Oaks, Mich.
Client  Kathy Bernreuter and Michael Downing
Architect  Ply Architecture, Ann Arbor, Mich.—Craig Borum, AIA (principal-in charge); Karl Daubmann, AIA, Alex Timmer (project team)
Storm-Glass Research  Craig Borum, AIA (principal-in charge); Julie Simpson, Wiltrud Simbuerger, Sara Dean, Ross Hoekstra, Alex Timmer, Lizzie Yarina, Natasha Mauskapf, Jessica Mattson, Chris Bennett, Jason Prasad (project team)
Storm-Glass Research and Development Support  University of Michigan’s A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Research Through Making Grant and Office of the Vice President for Research Faculty Grant and Awards Program
Size  1,318 square feet