Work Michigan Residential

Omena Lake House

Wooden deck of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture

Lake Effect

Sustainable design means working with nature instead of against it. Why shut out breezes and let in the full heat of the sun and then install air conditioning? DF&A’s approach to designing a fully sustainable lake house was to begin with common sense and an awareness of the site, and then to augment nature’s gifts with innovative high-tech solutions. The result, featured in Architecture Daily, was the first private residence in Northern Michigan to achieve LEED-gold certification.


It was also one of the country’s first to use an in-ceiling hydronic radiant heating and cooling system; there’s no traditional forced air HVAC, just a geothermal-powered, thermally-active ceiling that can both heat and cool the house. But only when needed. Most of the time, the Ipe-clad rain screen that covers much of the facade keeps the sun from overheating the house, and the fully operable NanaWall in the main living space channels lake breezes to provide all the passive cooling that’s required.

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Exterior view of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Wooden deck of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Perspective view of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Folding doors sequence on the living room of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Framed window of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
North and West elevation of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
View from the beach of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Bedroom volume view from the outside of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
First floor plan of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Window detail and vertical cedar siding of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Vertical cedar siding and Horizontal IPE Brazilian walnut rainscreen cladding of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Intersected volumes of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
West elevation of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Star railing detail of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Horizontal IPE Brazilian walnut rainscreen cladding of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Diagram of the thermally active surface on a winter emission mode of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Stereographic diagram of the sun path on the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Light and shadow on the interior of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Horizontal IPE Brazilian walnut rainscreen cladding of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Front door canopy of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
View from the deck on the evening of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
West elevation of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Stove top of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Human scale on the front door of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Video cover of the light and shadow animation of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Detail of wooden ceiling and cladding edges on the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
3D ground floor top view of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Wooden deck of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Night view of the wooden deck and framed windows of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Living room folding doors sequence of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Deck folding doors sequence of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Wooden cladding facade of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Wooden cladding facade of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
Exterior view of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Wooden deck of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Perspective view of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Folding doors sequence on the living room of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Folding doors sequence on the living room of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Folding doors sequence on the living room of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Folding doors sequence on the living room of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Folding doors sequence on the living room of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Framed window of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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North and West elevation of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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South and East elevation of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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View from the beach of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Perspective view of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Bedroom volume view from the outside of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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First floor plan of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Second floor plan of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Window detail and vertical cedar siding of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Window detail from the inside of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Horizontal IPE Brazilian walnut rainscreen cladding of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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Horizontal IPE Brazilian walnut rainscreen cladding of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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View from the outside of the sustainable lake house project in Omena, Michigan designed by the architecture studio Danny Forster & Architecture
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