Vernacular Vacation Home | Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

  • HERS/Energy Star 5+
  • 'Home of the Decade’ from Natural Home Magazine

This home, located in Door County, is designed as a green retreat for a couple from the Chicago area. While heavily wooded, the site opens on the east end to Lake Michigan, located less than 300’ away. The east side of the house is completely open to the lake view, while a south facing courtyard fronts to the woods. 

Borrowing from traditional barn vernacular design, the house is an ‘exploded’ version of classic barn forms, optimized for ventilation in the summer. The dramatically curving roofs produce a ‘venturi’ shape to assist the house in natural cross ventilation, flushing interior air out at the high, remotely controlled light monitors. The south facing windows, located up in the ventilation tower, warm the air, thereby creating a solar chimney to increase the effect of the natural ventilation while providing additional daylighting into the interior space.


Pre-wired for solar thermal and photovoltaic panels

Bamboo cabinets and local river rock backsplash

Native and low maintenance landscaping

Low and no-VOC materials and finishes

Significant locally sourced materials

Passive whole house ventilation

Cement fiberboard siding

Radiant floor heating

Natural dayligting

Photos by ©2017 Wayne Cable

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