Architect: Vetter Denk Architects
Located on a lake outside of Milwaukee, the Vessel House is the culmination of an intense 5-year collaboration with our client and multiple local craftsmen focused on the creation of a modern analogue to the Usonian Home.
As with most residential work, this home is a direct reflection of it’s owner, a highly educated art collector with a passion for music, fine furniture, and architecture. His interest in authenticity drove the material selections such as masonry, copper, and white oak, as well as the need for traditional methods of construction.
The initial diagram of the house involved a collection of embedded walls that emerge from the site and create spaces between them, which are covered with a series of floating rooves. The windows provide natural light on three sides of the house as a band of clerestories, transforming to a floor to ceiling ribbon of glass on the lakeside.
The Vessel House functions as a gallery for the owner’s art, motorcycles, Tiffany lamps, and vintage musical instruments – offering spaces to exhibit, store, and listen. These gallery nodes overlap with the typical house program of kitchen, dining, living, and bedroom, creating dynamic zones of transition and rooms that serve dual purposes allowing guests to relax in a museum setting.
Through it’s materiality, connection to nature, and open planning, the Vessel House continues many of the Usonian principles Wright advocated for.
Photos: Ryan Hainey