Built upon the prairie of northern Illinois, stands a home of both gathering and solitude. Grounded in tradition and brought to life through innovation, the home lies east of a newly formed lake. The residence it separated from all neighbors by acres of natural land and gently rolling hills leaving no distractions other than picturesque views and the interest offered by the home itself.
Often, traditional mountain and mid-western architecture was built in phases over time. These new additions were created in response to increased family size, changes in storage needs, and even with changes in use of the dwelling.
The Sharp’s Residence was inspired by this method of construction. After planning for the needs of the clients, the building is designed as a lively mixture of stucco, brick, stone and wood. The variety of materials visually breaks the building into smaller components and holds true to the historic Tuscan tradition of frequently using a variety of materials to construct the new phases.
The home has a great room and a dining room with window walls which can be fully opened to create an indoor-outdoor connection when the weather is favorable. The great room is lined with historic wood columns supporting historic wooden trusses at the ceiling of the spiring interior space. The adjacent entry room for the home is also two-stories tall, celebrating the entry of the home with appropriate grandeur. Material selection and lighting are all at a human scale, keeping the home comfortable and cozy as well as striking. Outside, a large roman brick viewing tower dominates the appearance of the home and allows for 360 degree viewing of the surrounding landscape, including the newly created pond to the west of the dwelling.
In addition to the benefits of the home, the Sharp family has chosen to include a small gatehouse and gazebo on the site. The gatehouse adds to the traditional charm of the project and accentuates the entry through the rustic rubble walls surrounding a portion of the front yard. The gazebo lies on the lake near the home and serves as a dock, swimming ramp, picnic venue and a cozy outdoor overlook site for the lake by the fireplace in the cool fall season.