Coffou Cottage | Brininstool + Lynch

• October 31, 2009

Coffou Cottage Brininstool Lynch plusMOOD 03 595x440 Coffou Cottage | Brininstool + Lynch

Coffou Cottage, image courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

Coffou Cottage in Michigan City, Indiana, USA, was designed by Chicago-based Brininstool + Lynch with a simple structural system, and was enhanced by a horizontal wood rain screen of Western Red Cedar to privatize the entry sequence on the North, and a wall of operable glass on the South.

+ Project description courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

For decades the woods and fields of Southwestern Michigan and Northwestern Indiana, with their close proximity to Lake Michigan and short travel distance from the city, have offered Chicagoans weekend reprieves from urban intensity. The owners of this cottage sought to gain a sense of privacy with their vacation property, and preferred the experience of pastoral views to the natural landscape over views to the lake waters. They were fortunate to find the land that fit their aesthetic aspirations, and subsequently desired a home that would meet their modern concept for living.

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Coffou Cottage, image courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

The cottage was designed with a simple structural system, and was enhanced by a horizontal wood rain screen of Western Red Cedar to privatize the entry sequence on the North, and a wall of operable glass on the South. The open plan of the kitchen, dining, living area, and porch – perceived as one room – strengthens the views to the meadow and woods to the South and maximizes solar gain in the winter.

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Coffou Cottage, image courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

Radiant heat in the ground concrete floors is enhanced by passive solar gain, and runs throughout the three-bedroom cottage. The arrangement of rooms and glass exterior walls allows for panoramic views of the outdoor environment, while providing the most energy efficient operation. A fireplace is positioned in the front hallway that divides the bedrooms from the living area, and a custom sofa bench set into the wall across from it creates a traditional fireplace inglenook.

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Coffou Cottage, image courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

Western Red Cedar was used to establish a material warmth and visual interest on the exterior, using a board and batten-like pattern for an open screen, and tongue and groove siding to establish the solid form of the adjacent volume, separated by the entry sequence. The warmth of material and visual identity is continued in to the interior where the same Western Red Cedar siding is used on interior walls and cabinets as is on the exterior, and where the wood screen can be seen from the screened porch and kitchen window.

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Coffou Cottage - Site Plan, drawing courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

Coffou Cottage Brininstool Lynch plusMOOD FLR PLAN 595x385 Coffou Cottage | Brininstool + Lynch

Coffou Cottage - Floor Plan, drawing courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

+ Project credits / data

Architect: Brininstool + Lynch
Project: Coffou Cottage
Location: Michigan City, Indiana
Design: 2006 – 2007
Construction: August 2007 – July 2008
Consultants: C.E. Anderson & Associates, Structural
Contractor: Mulcahy Builders
Materials: Wood framing, Western Red Cedar exterior siding and rain screen, Western Red Cedar millwork, transparent glass, ground concrete flooring over radiant heating system.
Project Area: 2,800 square feet
Photography: Hedrich Blessing and Christopher Barrett Photographer

+ All images and drawings courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch

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Category: Architecture, House

Comments (1)

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  1. denton says:

    now that is what i call the perfect use of an inset electric fire place in a contemporary setting. we’ve recommended some similar (bit not the same) fireplace designs like this: http://www.interiordesign.net/blog/1850000585.html but most of our clients prefer to go for gaudy classic fire places for some reason, the ones that do not do the interior design justice at all.