Cascade House

Location: Winnetka, Illinois

Year: 2010

Size:  25,000 sf

From the street and from inside, this house appears rather simple and unimposing, but in fact it is a very large house with an extremely complex program. Significant parts of the house are cut into the bluff and are not visible from the street and these buried spaces express themselves as irregular horizontal fissures in the hillside. The experience of moving through the house from the bluff to the lake takes advantage of the steep slope by way of a series of descending spaces set off from one another in both plan and section which afford dramatic and ever-changing views of the water. At grade, two “bars” containing the parents wing and garage/kitchen respectively carry a glass box containing the children’s bedrooms and playrooms. The box is constructed with massive steel trusses mounted on 4 steel columns which allow for unencumbered views to Lake Michigan and make the box seem to float above the living areas below. The subsurface areas which make up half of the area or the house contain guest and maid’s quarters, office space, a lap pool, gym and basketball court. A fresh-water pool and stone clad boat house complete the terraced landscape down to the water’s edge. The house was realized through the Architect led Design/Build process where we performed the duties as Architect and then assumed the role of Contractor and Construction Manager on site. This allowed for a very high level of execution while keeping costs and schedule in check.  Although large with much glass on the exposed portions of the house, we received LEED certification in part because half of the house is below grade and we also incorporated green roofs, a geothermal heat pump system, and many other energy efficient systems.

(Design/Build project completed while employed at Gluck+)

Photography by Gluck+ In collaboration with Paul Warshaw