Craig Vander Kolk grew up living and playing on Lake Michigan where he felt fortunate to have forged life long memories with friends and family. As Craig grew older, he pursued a passion for helping others, attending medical school, becoming a physician, and traveling the world through a fellowship and nonprofit mission to repair cleft palates. After many years of traveling, Craig returned home to the United states with a longing to one day recreate new memories on the water with his own children and grandchildren.
Craig and his wife found an opportunity when they visited a small parcel of waterfront property nestled within the eastern shore on South River in Annapolis, Maryland. A tiny old home stood on the property that was not habitable, so not long after purchasing the property, Craig enrolled in an architecture course at the local college. His fascination with modern architecture gave him the inspiration to create a contemporary design that could compliment and engage the surrounding landscape. Craig was an active participant in class, discussing architecture and design with the professor, Jason Winters. They often walked to their cars after class talking about their favorite buildings and places they had visited around the world. This shared passion formed an instant bond and friendship, and that turned into a partnership in design collaboration to create Craig's dream home.
The end result is the culmination of a five year relationship between Craig and Jason in a collaborative work environment of shared ideas and tested design concepts. The process evolved continuously around potentials for the site, the program, and aesthetics, materials throughout the design process. It was within the synthesis of this operational framework that a generative range of solutions was considered at each stage in the design process. Ultimately in this work, architecture is situated between the analysis and resolution of site and program. In this, both quantitative and qualitative design criteria converge to allow the emergence of spatial strategies and forms while not diminishing the original constituent ideas about landscape and building.
The design approach was primarily guided by an emphasis on experience of landscape and building through scripted promenade, distinct views to and from the building, and interior areas of respite focused on the surrounding natural environment. Every attempt was made to take full advantage of the large acreage of land, the waterfront property, and the path of the sun specific to the site orientation. Additionally, visio-spatial narratives seek to create scaled spatial conditions for activity within larger contiguous open enclosures offering both the opportunity for intimate interactions at the scale of an activity while maintaining connections with the immediate natural environment, landscape, water, and vegetation. This connection between interior and exterior is further expanded by controlled circulation pathways that strategically placed fenestration in a position of ever changing framed views. These instances manipulate the occupants vantage point of the exterior condition allowing controlled visual access of foreground, middle ground, and background. In this way, land, water, sky are continuously re-presented to the inhabitants as they move through the interior both in plan and section. This movement through the house is celebrated as a formal device that provides opportunities to re-present unique facets of the site to inhabitants by varying the spatial relationship, framed view, and phenomenal connectivity to the exterior within the scale, openness, and directionality of interior promenade and passage.
Building Size: 3,000 square feet
Lot Size: .42 acres
Building Height: 45 feet to hight point from grade
Owner: Craig Vander Kolk
Architect: Kezlo Group
Structural Engineer: Mincin Patel Milano
Civil Engineer: Terrain, Inc.
Building Contractor: Lundberg Builders, Inc.
Professional Photography: © 2016 Curtis Martin Photo Inc