Gary Beyerl on Oct 27, 2020

Orchard Home Begins Construction

Early this year, our clients, who reside on the north side of Chicago, contacted us about building a weekend vacation house that may eventually become a permanent home on a rural site in northern Indiana. They had acquired a large site, featuring an expansive meadow on high ground surrounded by a dense hardwood forest on all sides. The woodland border of the meadow contained a few substantial oak trees, and at the south end on high ground, a retired orchard with a still significant grid of European Chestnut trees that created a magical understory expanse. 

Initially, the client envisioned placing the home in a low area at the southeast corner of the meadow. After some consideration, we discovered that nestling the home in the back edge of the orchard, just north of the deep woods, would create the most dynamic views from the house, and the trees would become a natural extension of the outdoor rooms we planned to create. 

For the architectural design inspiration, the client imagined a contemporary, Northern California-style shed-roof design with flexible and open interior spaces on a single level, with a modest open loft space above. They requested broad roof overhangs and envisioned lots of outdoor living. The design that was developed has achieved and exceeded all expectations. At approximately 3,000 s.f on one level, BBA created three connected volumes, forming a semi-enclosure focusing on the orchard. The balanced masses have shed roofs on each end, and a tall central roof in the center section to contain the primary living space. 

The substantially sized wooded site required all new services and infrastructure prior to building. Throughout the design process, the owner has been working with BBA to sensitively place these elements in the natural setting to be invisible, and allow the natural beauty of the site to be the true star of the show.  

Site prep work has been underway, and we expect to see foundation work commencing shortly. Check back here for updates, as the building begins to rise in this gorgeous chestnut orchard in northern Indiana.