Johnsen Schmaling Architects designed the Redaction House in Oconomowoc, Wisonsin.
A compact home for a textile artist and her young family, the Redaction House sits on a narrow sliver of land on a small suburban lake, surrounded by prosaic spec homes crowding the shoreline. The building, a simple wood cube on a stepped brick podium carved into the sloping site, is deliberately introvert, functioning as an optic filter that frames the limited lake vista while strategically editing out views of the built-up context.
A series of spatial voids carved into the building volume organize the program, starting with a linear entry courtyard along a brick wall whose decreasing perforation begins the process of visual redaction and leads to the transparent front door. Inside, floor-to-ceiling apertures alternate with solid walls, taking advantage of sightlines that are desirable and screen those that are not. The rooms are grouped around a two-story living hall, where the apertures are stacked vertically to frame views of the sky and the bluff’s deciduous foliage.
The wood cube is clad in horizontal cedar, complemented by vertical cedar between the deeply recessed apertures. Here, narrow painted boards create an unexpected filigree of colors, a subtle nod at the polychrome threads in the fiber artist’s own work.
Photography by John J. Macaulay