River House

Wayne, Illinois / United States of America

The program asked for a house that responded to its site, framing views of the natural grass sloping terrain down to the Fox River, not only from within the residence, but through it.

The traditional arrangement of public and private spaces was inverted. This allowed for transparency through the house and spectacular elevated views from the upper level. The upper level has an expansive cantilevered terrace and roof suspended over the lower level providing sun protection from the south and west exposures.

The lower bedroom level is nestled in the sloping earth providing privacy, security and an intimate connection to the site.

To minimize the footprint on the site, the house and garage are separated but connected by a suspended ipe enclosed tube element. This enclosed tube becomes the only structure on the upper level and houses the fireplace, pantry and kitchen components. Adjacent to this enclosed tube is an accompanying open glass lined ipe bridge suspending visitors over the landscape to the front door.

The exterior consists of a simple palette of sustainable and highly durable materials. The base is exposed concrete, the upper level clad in charcoal anodized aluminum panels and both accented with ipe wood for balance.

Architect of record

Mark Peters
Studio Dwell Architects
1135 N. California Ave.
Chicago, Il 60622, USA
Phone: 773-489-9200

General contractor

George McLeod
McLeod Builders
5 N 903 Westwood Lane
St. Charles, Il 60175, USA
Phone: 630-377-3446

Consultant 1

Bernard Morauw
5N770 Pearson Drive
Wayne, Il 60175, USA
Phone: 630-623-3336


Marty Peters
Marty Peters Photography
3055 S. Wentworth
Milwaukee, Wi 53207, USA
Phone: 414-241-8240