Introducing change without stepping on the established order’s toes can be difficult—especially when it involves the ultra-traditional atmosphere of a golf course. Despite the challenge, when the owners of this custom home decided to build on a site that backs up to the manicured grounds of a Michigan golf course, they knew they wanted a design that would bridge the divide between classical and contemporary.
“They didn’t want to go all-white modern,” says Dominick Tringali, president and CEO of Dominick Tringali Architects. But they also weren’t interested in the neighborhood’s status quo.
In an artful compromise, the home’s exterior is clad in the architectural equivalent of a pinstripe suit—conservative red brick accented by white stripe detailing—while the interior sports clean lines, limestone walls, and minimized wood trim.
Throughout the home, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors strike a note of understated sophistication, while ceilings stay interesting with dropped sections fitted with light coves. “It’s very simple, but just enough to look elegant,” Tringali says. “It works well for them, but it also fits into the community. Next door is a French traditional.”
Rather than focusing too much on old versus new, the home’s most defining feature is something proponents of any style could appreciate: the view. “We angled everything on the view lines down the golf course,” Tringali says. “Those views created that house. You couldn’t build the same house on another site.”
To make the most of the visual real estate, the home is anchored by a central fascia flanked by two wings that extend outward at angles calculated to maximize views of the golf course. The central element houses the entryway and some family spaces, while the wings are divided between public and private areas, one allocated for the master suite and additional bedrooms, and the other designed for entertaining.
Structural steel beams extend out from the building’s façade to frame the front porch’s ceiling, lending a deconstructionist look that hints at the more modern aesthetic inside. But while the home’s front entry offers privacy, the back façade opens up to panoramic views through a two-story wall of 15-foot glass windows. When speccing those windows, the architects opted for commercial-glazed metal units, which not only enhanced the home’s modern aesthetic but also allowed for large glass expanses at a reasonable cost. They were also better prepared to handle wind loads, Tringali says.
While not every customer has the budget or inclination to live on a golf course, the design has been one that Tringali says has generated a lot of inquiries. “We’ve done a lot of derivatives of the home. It continues to morph into a house that people are looking for.”