All Publications 2019 – Great Lakes By Design V3 I6 Tunnel House

Tunnel House
Holland, Michigan

<<Tunnel House Portfolio Page

Credit: Great Lakes By Design    

       As part of a newly built home in Holland, Michigan, a tunnel not only composes a root pathway—its threshold being lush greenery and its culmination being the waterfront—but also serves as a functional asset for a family with aspirations of creating their ideal forever-home on the Lake Michigan coastline.

       Above it are two layers of live, work, and play spaces that are interconnected along their own pathways, and comprise a carefully orchestrated network of design excellence that holds surprises around every corner. Including five bedroom-and-bathroom suites, two additional bathrooms, and a bunkroom, they create a comprehensive dwelling for the family and its future generations.

       The interiors, in kinds, are wrapped in a distinctive exterior designed to evoke Dutch colonial inspiration, as the homeowners share an affinity for the style.

       “There’s a clear delineation between the inland side and lakeside of the property. The inland side is very flat and then there’s that steep bluff or dune that brings the flat land to the lakeside,” Sears said. “We knew we had to work with that dune and the crest of that dune; so that was one of the overriding design considerations. That’s where the idea of the tunnel came from; we kind of worked through and around the dune.”

       The siding joins at mitered edges and is designed with a gentle concave bend at the main level. It leads upward into patterns of corbelling and brackets, and features windows with whit e casings that create a traditional look, according to Sears From the central, gambrel roof pitch—which was decided upon by family vote—a series of other dynamic roof pitches characterize the rest of the exterior architecture and provided a challenge when creating its blend of corbelling and bracket work under each eave.

       The stylistic flourishes also lend an East Coast traditional style to the home, Sears said, and it pairs with some of Zahn’s favored Dutch colonial style elements, such as the entryway’s warm wood Dutch door which divides horizontally, offering a unique peek indoors.