Built in the mid-1990s, this lakeside home was problematic in many ways, starting with its flat, east-facing front elevation, which allowed the rising sun to cook the house each morning.
Rather than tearing down and starting over, architect Winn Wittman and builder Gary Robinson devised an ingenious shading device as part of the whole-house renovation: powder-coated, water-jet–cut aluminum panels. Mounted on stainless steel stanchions and offset from the exterior walls by a few inches, the decorative screens create a dappled light effect and reduce heat gain inside by about 50 percent. They also mask an awkward assortment of existing windows (including a couple of portholes), alleviating the need for more significant structural changes to the original façade.
The ornate, fleur-de-lis pattern serves as a unifying motif and suits the vivid style of the owner, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist. And the filigree figures prominently not only on those exterior screens, but also in the home’s front entry gate, rear patio awnings, and in an etched glass wall partition in the foyer, where it’s jazzed up with color-shifting LED lights.
Wittman estimates the cost of the jet-cut aluminum panels at about $55,000. The flowery design isn’t for everyone, he admits, but this creative use of metal work could have myriad applications. “The beauty of this approach is that it can be adapted to any pattern, scale, or preference.”