Scope: The Bar House site is 13 acres of gently sloping land abutting a 500-acre forest preserve. Access to sunlight and views informed our strategy to locate the structure at the site’s highest elevation. Two linear volumes are stacked in perpendicular fashion. One physically engages the landscape at ground level and one is raised above with access to a green roof and views over the trees. The house sits lightly on the ground. In contrast to its natural surroundings, the building exterior has a precise quality. Exposed steel structure, vertical sunshades and alternating glass and zinc panels are exactly detailed. At the ground level, thin “V” shaped columns that support the upper floor recall lanky forest trees. The building design incorporates passive and active sustainable strategies. Building orientation, south overhangs, east/west sunshades and green roofs are supplemented by heated floors and geothermal heating and cooling.
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