Elm Grove, Wisconsin
Architect: Vetter Denk Architects
Contractor: Vetter Denk Properties, LLC
This innovative update on the production home for the modern era serves as a direct counterpoint to the neighborhood.
The Terraced House cautiously steps down the site’s steep topography. The compact house opens up in very focused views that capture the natural wooded setting, while masking the sounds and views of the directly adjacent roadway. The main living spaces face this major roadway, effectively flipping the typical orientation of a suburban home, and the main entrance pulls visitors up to the second floor and halfway through the site, providing a sense of procession and privacy absent in the typical suburban home.
Clad in a custom rain screen that reflects the wood of the surrounding landscape - while providing a glimpse into the interior tones that are used. The stepping “wood boxes” rest on a series of concrete walls that organize the site, retain the earth, and - in conjunction with the wood veneer panels - provide a subtle organic texture to the composition.
The interior spaces wrap around an interior knuckle that houses public zones and vertical circulation - allowing more private spaces to exist at the edges of the building. The windows get larger and more frequent as they ascend the building, culminating in the upstairs bedrooms that occupy the site like a tree house - giving views in all directions.
Photos: Steve Gotter