AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards

Hennepin House

Citation of Merit

It's one thing to open out and embrace a view, quite another when there are two opposite views to capture. Here, the architects managed a double play by means of an Xshaped central living space whose two ends widen to frame expansive views of prairie in one direction, a woodland in the other. Bracketing the X are two parts of a standard box, which hold the bedrooms, baths and kitchen and are downplayed on the exterior with siding of corrugated aluminum panels. That leaves the X as the lead player, wrapped in wood to complement the natural setting. The floor, ceiling and walls are surfaced in triangulated planes of pine. Jurors lauded the "modern vocabulary for a country house" and the use of "inexpensive materials in a very simple way. The whole thing is a complete idea. It's taking one idea and really obsessively solving it."

Diane Pascal and Thomas Richie
Robert L. Miller Associates (structural)
General contractor
American Bilco
Hennepin, IL