The Hennepin House is a fabulous weekend house for a Chicago couple designed by architecture firm UrbanLab in Hennepin, Illinois. The couple had an extremely modest budget which led to the proposal of a simple box shape of 1,600 square feet. Carving the box creates the main living space that links the two landscapes on the site. The hollow of the house organizes views of the forest landscape to the south and prairie landscape to the north, while the extended solid areas become the bedroom zones.
The hollow space seeks to be an interior forest/prairie room; it is wrapped in wood. The floor, ceiling, and walls of the hollow are surfaced in triangulated planes of pine. The pine wrap camouflages the private areas of the house; “secret” sliding wood panels provide access to the bedroom zones.
A perforated corrugated aluminum clad facade, designed to resemble rural silos or sheds, further camouflages the bedroom zones. The panels are both fixed and sliding. The architects designed/built the facade: the raw aluminum sheets were acquired, a local perforation company was organized to custom-perforate the sheets, and then the sheets were corrugated with a friend’s corrugation machine. The perforated corrugated panels provide privacy, modulate light, and provide solar shading to reduce energy use in the summer.
The home got a recent re-model where modular patterned area rugs from FLOR were added to the design of the home taking into account color, textures in the room and overall ambiance.